DALLAS - Just in time for summer travel, Southwest Airlines has made an agreement with its workers.
Flight attendants and mechanics were notified over the weekend of an agreement after weeks of contract negotiations.
In March, they picketed outside of the Dallas Love Field Airport for better pay and working conditions.
Details of the new contracts are still being ironed out.
There are many steps in this process for a new contract, but we know an agreement has been made.
Now, the month of June will be dedicated to drawing up the details, which are yet to be released.
Southwest Airlines flight attendants and mechanics received a notice negotiations between its workers’ union and the Dallas-based company have resulted in an agreement.
The union's prior contract expired in 2018, but discussions kept getting stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple systemwide meltdowns.
An email was sent out to the nearly 19,000 Southwest Airlines flight attendants, part of the Transport Workers Union Local 556.
It revealed negotiation sessions took place last week.
For the first two weeks of June, the final contracts will be presented and reviewed, but the details can’t be revealed until they’re finalized.
Scott Keyes is the founder of going.com, which helps travelers find cheap flights.
"This comes on the heels of the meltdown in the December/Christmas/New Year period. So you can imagine the airline is eager to not have another PR nightmare. It’s no surprise they were able to come to an agreement here," he said.
Recently, flight attendants picketed outside Dallas Love Field Airport.
Southwest Airlines workers have demanded improvement of working conditions, including an increase in pay and an upgrade to the airline’s dated scheduling software, especially after the 2022 holiday travel debacle that left hundreds of thousands of people stranded.
"This extensive negotiation looks messy, but doesn’t impact travelers at the end of the day," Keyes said.
Contract negotiations are still in the works for Southwest Airlines pilots.
Just last month, Southwest’s pilot union voted to authorize a strike.
Keyes said a walk out is unlikely, but does add pressure to the airline during this cooling off period.
"At the end of the day, the passengers and public is not usually impacted. They tend to come to an agreement before there is a strike or a work stoppage because that’s in nobody’s interest," he said.
Keyes also said there is more good news heading into the summer.
Last year on Memorial Day weekend, airports saw widespread cancellations leading to a domino effect into summer.
This Memorial Day weekend, he said was a polar opposite with minimal cancellations.