CHICAGO (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co’s mechanics union said on Tuesday its members had overwhelmingly voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement with the airline, ending seven years of labor negotiations fraught with legal disputes and flight disruptions.
The agreement, which brought to a close one of the most disruptive labor disputes to hit a top-four U.S. airline in more than a decade, came a day after rival U.S. carrier American Airlines Group Inc said it was filing a labor-related lawsuit against its mechanics.
Analysts - Labor - Issues - Concern - Airlines
Analysts have highlighted labor issues as a main concern for airlines this year, in addition to rising fuel costs and the grounding of Boeing MAX jets after two fatal crashes.
Mechanics at both American and Southwest have complained that the airlines are moving to outsource maintenance work that has traditionally been done in-house.
Statement - Website - Aircraft - Mechanics - Fraternal
In a statement on its website, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which represents around 2,500 Southwest mechanics, said about 95 percent of its members had voted to accept a labor agreement that includes significant pay increases and headcount protections.
Southwest, which had been forced to cancel hundreds of flights earlier this year stemming from the mechanics dispute, welcomed the agreement.
Mechanics - Pay - Increases - Company
“Our mechanics will receive well-deserved pay increases, and the company...
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