New York, March 17, 2021 - Southwest Airlines and its pilots have reached a tentative labor agreement, bringing an end to three-and-a-half years of negotiations. This makes Southwest Airlines the last of the four major airlines to reach a deal with its pilots.
Southwest Airlines, headquartered in Dallas, announced on Tuesday that it was pleased to have reached an agreement in principle, hailing it as a "key milestone" for the company.
While specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed, it is worth noting that pilots at American, United, and Delta have recently secured raises of approximately 40% over a span of five years.
In order to assert their demands, the pilots at Southwest had opened a "strike center" in Dallas a month ago. They subsequently requested permission from federal mediators to initiate a 30-day countdown to a strike, but their requests were denied twice.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, representing around 11,000 pilot members, has stated that the agreement will be evaluated by its 25-member board of directors. If approved, the agreement will then be presented to the pilot members.
This tentative labor agreement comes shortly after flight attendants at Southwest rejected a similar deal, after five years of negotiations which did not result in any salary increases.