Southwest Airlines reaches industry-leading deal (NYSE:LUV)

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 airplanes Atlanta airport

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 airplanes Atlanta airport

Boarding1Now/iStock Editorial via Getty Images

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) said its members “overwhelmingly ratified” a new agreement with Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) on Thursday.

The union, which represents over 8,300 workers mainly in customer service, said the new five-year contract gives its members a 13.1% wage increase as of Thursday and a 25.1% general wage increase over the ensuing four years. The deal also includes a “me too” clause to guarantee industry-leading wages as well as higher bonuses.

“IAM members at Southwest Airlines stood together in solidarity to get the best deal in the airline industry,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “We were focused on securing an agreement that would make our members at Southwest Airlines the highest-paid workers in the airline industry. Ratifying this historic deal was good for our members and the customers who trust and fly Southwest Airlines.”

The union added that work/life balance improvements were made alongside overtime protections and “improved vacation language.” Specific adjustments to contract language were not disclosed.

Read more on Southwest’s move to reinstate its dividend.

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