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Southwest Airline Reaches Deal With Mechanics

Posted in Airline News, Southwest AirlinesNo comments

Southwest Airlines and its mechanics union reached a tentative contract agreement that would boost wages in exchange for more productivity and flexibility.

The agreement, which the Dallas-based airline said was “cost neutral,” must be approved by members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Organization. If approved, it will last four years.

Union officials said the deal would provide industry-leading compensation for mechanics, as well as improvements in productivity and efficiency.

It will also provide additional job security for mechanics.

According to a statement from the union, the deal includes “a very limited opportunity for Southwest Airlines to seek an international outsourcing maintenance provider if the need arises.”

Southwest had planned to outsource some maintenance to a firm based in El Salvador. But it abandoned those plans earlier this year after its maintenance program came under fire from the Federal Aviation Administration for alleged lapses in inspections.

Southwest is also negotiating contracts with pilots and ground workers. Union officials representing pilots and flight attendants have criticized the airline’s plan to partner with Canadian and Mexican airlines for international flights. Labor leaders say they would prefer Southwest operate those flights.

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