Southwest Airlines flight maintenance workers voted overwhelmingly Tuesday morning to approve a new work contract that would increase wages by 20% and pay $ 160 million in wages, according to the union representing them.
In a statement, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association said 94% of its 2,400 workers voted for the pact, giving what is called "long-term" withdrawals and additional benefits.
"The increases are offsetting their daily responsibilities … during a time of economic growth, experience and knowledge of [Boeing] 737 and record profits for this radically changing aviation industry," said Bret Oestreich, the Union's national director .
The Union said its work will now shift to "restoring the security of culture Southwest Airlines has traditionally been known for."
Southwest Airlines said the new contract benefits all parties and is the key to maintaining the airline's long-term health . [1
Maintenance work that the airline could outsource was a fixed point in the negotiation process. In the end, both sides agreed to give Southwest more flexibility in the selection of maintenance workers who could use it for work that was already outsourced.
The approval of the contract followed a disruptive start to the year, which saw the mechanics' basic flights to maintenance problems, resulting in hundreds of flight delays and cancellations and ending with Southwest to court to stop what it called illegal work.
When Boeing 737 Max was founded all over the world, the two parties came to an agreement.
Even before the contract approval, southwestern mechanics were among the best paid in the industry. In 2017, the average compensation was nearly $ 118,000, including overtime, according to data prepared by the MIT Airline Data Project.