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Southwest Airlines reaches tentative agreement with flight attendants union

Crew get a Southwest plane ready for a flight Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at Dallas Love Field.
Yfat Yossifor
Crew get a Southwest plane ready for a flight Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, at Dallas Love Field.

Southwest Airlines flight attendants have reached a tentative agreement with the Dallas-based carrier, the union announced Tuesday night.

The TWU Local 556 executive board approved sending the agreement to union members on March 25, according to a statement on the union’s Facebook page. The union provided no other details on the terms of the potential contract.

In a statement, Southwest said the union will give details about the agreement and the voting process directly to union members.

“Southwest’s Flight Attendants support the Safety and comfort of our Customers while providing legendary Southwest Hospitality,” said Adam Carlisle, the airline's vice president of labor relations. “I am glad they will have the opportunity to vote on this new agreement.”

With nearly 20,000 workers, flight attendants are the largest of Southwest’s 12 union-represented employee groups. In January, the union said participating members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike against Southwest for the first time in the union's history.

Flight attendants voted to reject a previous tentative agreement in December. That same month, the Department of Transportation ordered Southwest to pay a $140 million fine over customer service failures during an operational meltdown in 2022.

The airline also reached a tentative agreement last month with TWU Local 555, its union of nearly 18,000 ramp, operations, provisioning and cargo agents. The voting period on whether to ratify that contract ends Thursday, the union said on Facebook.

Meanwhile, American Airlines flight attendants are still in contract negotiations with the Fort Worth-based carrier, hosting informational pickets earlier this year about the process. That union voted last year to authorize a strike.

Got a tip? Email Toluwani Osibamowo at tosibamowo@kera.org. You can follow Toluwani on Twitter @tosibamowo.

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Toluwani Osibamowo