TWU Local 555 members ratify new contract with Southwest Airlines

Assistant Editor

Groundworkers represented by Transport Workers Union Local 555 at Southwest Airlines have approved a new contract agreement that includes average wage increases of more than 18 percent.

“This is a good day for our hardworking members at Southwest,” said Alex Garcia, TWU international executive vice president. “This contract between the TWU and Southwest provides best in-the-industry wages, bonus payments and other significant economic gains. It’s an excellent, well-deserved agreement.”

Members of Local 555, which includes ramp, operations, provisioning and freight agents, rejected the first contract back in September. The new five-year agreement was ratified by a 78-to-22 percent vote. Some of the highlights include:

  • Top-of-the industry wage rates at every pay step, including $38 an hour at the top of the scale. The top-of-scale rate is 3.5 percent higher than the next highest in the industry.
  • Wage increases ranging from 14.4 to 46 percent. The average increase is more than 18 percent.
  • Workers will reach top-pay rate after 10 years of service, down from 11 years. The new progression is the shortest of all ramp/fleet service groups in the industry.
  • The employer 401(k) match rising from 9.3 to 10 percent, the highest total of any ramp group in the industry.
  • Lump-sum bonus payments totaling $140 million.

The new contract also includes provisions for maternity leave, paid parental leave and caps on healthcare premiums and deductibles.

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