Travelers Beware…First the Southwest Airlines Pilot’s and Now the Flight Attendants

Flight attendants for Southwest Airlines voted down a tentative contract last week with only 36% of the union workers voting in favor of an agreement made between their union and negotiators for the airline. 

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, which represents the Southwest flight attendants, supported the decision and said it “stands firmly behind the needs of our members” after five years of negotiations, during which time flight attendants have not received pay raises. 

“The flight attendants of Southwest Airlines have made it clear that this proposed contract is not going to heal the hurt,” Lyn Montgomery, president of TWU Local 556, said in a statement. “We will go back to the table to achieve the collective bargaining agreement that meets the needs of the hardest-working flight attendants in the industry.” 

Southwest Airlines also released a statement, saying “We are disappointed the industry-leading agreement reached between the negotiating committees was not ratified. Our flight attendants will continue to be covered under their current contract and we’ll await next steps from the National Mediation Board and TWU 556.” 

Southwest is also in federal mediation with the airline pilots’ union, Southwest Airline Pilots Association (SWAPA), for a contract. The pilots have threatened to go on strike if an agreement is not reached.

Update: December 21, 2023 Tentative Labor Deal Between Southwest Airlines and Its Pilots