The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), North America’s largest air transport union, has overwhelmingly ratified a strong five-year collective bargaining agreement with Southwest Airlines that gives its members a 13.1% wage increase from the current wage on the date of ratification and a 25.1% general wage increase over four years putting 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.

Highlights of the five-year agreement include:

  • Higher general wage increases (13.1% wage increase on ratification; 25.1% total over four years)
  • Better work/life balance
  • “Me too” clauses for top-of-scale wage rate, signing bonus/retro pay, and paid parking.
  • Higher bonuses
  • Improved vacation language
  • Part-time employee overtime wage rate improvements
  • Stronger and improved mandatory overtime protections for all employees

Click here for full highlights of the ratified agreement. 

“Congratulations to the Southwest Airlines General Chairpersons for negotiating an industry-leading contract,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Your solidarity helped secure a contract that serves as a model for the rest of the airline industry and improves the work-life balance for our members. I applaud IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richie Johnsen, his leadership team, and IAM District 142 leadership for delivering for our members at Southwest Airlines.”

“IAM members at Southwest Airlines stood together in solidarity to get the best deal in the airline industry,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “We were focused on securing an agreement that would make our members at Southwest Airlines the highest-paid workers in the airline industry. Ratifying this historic deal was good for our members and the customers who trust and fly Southwest Airlines. I want to thank the membership, the Southwest Airlines General Chairpersons, and the District 142 leadership for securing this historic agreement.”

“Our members were crystal clear on what they wanted to see in this agreement from Southwest Airlines,” said IAM District 142 President and Directing General Chair John M. Coveny Jr. “Our members should be proud knowing that they ratified an industry-leading contract as a result of their dedication and solidarity throughout the process. We’re grateful to the IAM Air Transport leadership for their guidance and expertise in making this historic agreement possible.”

This five-year agreement provides industry-leading pay and job protections for our membership. It will also offer better mandatory overtime rules and improve our members’ quality of life. 

“As a Southwest Airlines Customer Service Agent who came up through the ranks, I understand how this industry-leading agreement will impact the lives of thousands of my brothers, sisters, and siblings at Southwest Airlines,” said IAM Air Transport Territory Chief of Staff Edison Fraser. “I am extremely proud of our communication with the membership to get this deal done. I appreciate Southwest Airlines and our membership’s patience through this long and tedious process.”

“The goal of the IAM negotiating team and membership was to get a deal that would garner the dignity and respect our members at Southwest Airlines deserve,” said IAM Airline Coordinator Tom Regan. “This agreement puts our members at the top of the industry and creates a career path for the new members joining the IAM and Southwest Airlines.”


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