Machinists Union Reaches Tentative Agreement with Southwest Airlines that Puts Members at Top of Industry’s Pay Scale

The IAM, North America’s largest air transport union, has reached a new tentative agreement with Southwest Airlines that would give its members between a 16% and 25% general wage increase over four years and place its members at the top of the airline industry’s pay scale.

The IAM represents approximately 8,300 Customer Service Employees, including Customer Representatives, Customer Service Agents and Source of Support Representatives, at Southwest Airlines.

The five-year tentative agreement includes several improvements over the previous failed tentative agreement, including:

  • Higher general wage increases
  • “Me too” clauses for top-of-scale wage rate, signing bonus/retro pay, and paid parking.
  • Higher bonuses with no maximum
  • Part-time employee overtime wage rate improvements
  • Stronger mandatory overtime protections for all employees

Click here for full highlights of the tentative agreement.

The tentative agreement also includes robust job and scope protection language. The IAM negotiating committee unanimously recommends a “yes” vote.

“IAM members at Southwest Airlines have made their strength and their voices heard,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richard Johnsen. “The IAM continues to negotiate agreements that make history for our members and raise the bar for all airline workers.”

In the coming days, the full version of the tentative agreement will be provided to members.

“Our members made it clear that they demand and deserve the best contract possible from Southwest Airlines,” said IAM District 142 President and Directing General Chair John M. Coveny Jr. “We’re proud to present this industry-leading contract as a testament to their strength and solidarity.”

The IAM will also hold tentative agreement informational meetings as soon as all ratification vote locations and dates are confirmed.

“The membership, negotiating committee, District 142 leadership, Airline Coordinator Tom Regan, and Grand Lodge Representative Jeff Tobius have worked tirelessly to secure this strong tentative agreement,” said IAM Air Transport Territory Chief of Staff Edison Fraser. “We’re grateful for their work and our partnership with Southwest Airlines to make this industry-leading agreement possible.”

“Our IAM negotiating team and membership has been steadfast to obtain an agreement that treats Southwest Airlines workers with the respect they’ve earned,” said IAM Airline Coordinator Tom Regan. “This agreement represents years of work, through a pandemic, to put our members at the top of the industry.”

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Updated: October 31, 2022 — 11:17 am