Southwest Airlines announces new deal for transport workers

The employees can now make more than their counterparts at United Airlines, which has been the leading rate.

Southwest Airlines’ ramp, operations, provisioning, and cargo agents have approved a new five-year labor contract, the airline announced Thursday. 

The contract covers 18,000 workers who are represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 555.


Driving the news: The new contract includes a wage rate of $38 per hour at the top of the wage scale, which is 6.6% above United Airlines’ current leading rate.

  • Under the new agreement, workers can reach the top of the pay scale after 10 years of service instead of 11 years.
  • In recent years, various unions representing Southwest Airlines’ pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance workers have been pushing for higher wages, better scheduling, and other benefits.
  • Southwest Airlines has already ratified contracts with ten worker groups since October 2022.
  • Earlier this year, the airline reached a deal with its pilots, offering approximately a 50% pay raise over a five-year period.
  • The union representing nearly 20,000 of Southwest’s flight attendants also recently reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract after two prior attempts failed.
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