Southwest Air Flight Attendants to Vote on Proposed Contract

Southwest Airlines Co.’s 14,500 flight attendants will decide whether to approve a tentative contract agreement following “intense discussion and debate” by leaders of their union.

The board of Transport Workers Union Local 556 voted Friday to send the pact to members after two days of deliberation, the labor group said in a statement posted Friday on its website. Terms of the deal, which was reached Sept. 9, will be released Oct. 1, the union said.

Southwest, the largest fare discounter, wants to secure new contracts with its three biggest unions as it seeks to settle investors’ concerns about rising labor costs. The airline remains in negotiations with its mechanics’ union. The decision by the flight attendants’ leaders follows a similar action Wednesday by the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association.

“After careful consideration, intense discussion and debate, your executive board decided that each and every member should be given the opportunity to educate themselves” on terms of the contract and vote, the union said in the statement. “Getting to this point has not been easy.”

Voting will begin Oct. 16 and end on Oct 31, the union said.

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