Phone: (817) 545-2326
TWU Flight Attendants at Southwest Airlines Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract
Posted On: May 22, 2024

April 24, 2024

Contact: Alex Daugherty, 

Transport Workers Union Local 556 Flight Attendants at Southwest Airlines Overwhelmingly Ratify New Four-Year Contract, Become Highest-Paid Flight Attendants in the Industry 

Flight Attendants at Southwest Airlines represented by the Transport Workers Union of America - Local 556 ratified a new four-year contract that includes a 22.3 percent raise on May 1 and $364 million in retroactive wages that will be paid out based on how much Flight Attendants flew during years of negotiations. The new wage rates will mean Southwest Flight Attendants are the highest paid in the industry, 14 percent more on average than Delta Flight Attendants, who recently were given a five percent pay raise and currently have the second-highest wage rate in the industry. 

The deal also includes an industry-first paid maternal and parental leave and will also include with healthcare coverage while a Flight Attendant is caring for a newborn child.  

“This new TWU contract has so many significant improvements that its impact will resonate across the industry as carriers like United, Alaska, and American  bargain with  their Flight Attendants, who have been in contract negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) for several years," said TWU International President John Samuelsen. "This is a significant victory for Flight Attendants industrywide and the TWU has once again proven that we are an incredibly effective voice for Flight Attendants." 

The contract was approved with 81 percent of votes in favor, with 93 percent of eligible voters participating. 

The TWU has achieved a trifecta of contract victories in recent weeks with new deals for TWU-represented Flight Attendants at Southwest and Allegiant Airlines. Contracts were also reached with Ramp, Operations, Provisioning, and Freight Agents at Southwest Airlines and Dispatchers at Air Wisconsin 

The four-year contract includes a 12-month reopener, providing an additional opportunity for future negotiations. It also includes additional compensation for extra time spent on the ground while on duty, higher pay for irregular operations and premium pay for an extended duty day. Additionally, the contract provides pay protections for Flight Attendants who experience an on-the-job injury and provides holiday pay for three more holidays – July 4th, Memorial Day and Labor Day.    

TWU International Executive Vice President Alex Garcia said “This deal provides significant raises and critical quality-of-life improvements for TWU’s Southwest Flight Attendants who worked through historic operational meltdowns and a global pandemic. TWU Local 556 won quantifiable compensation throughout all phases of the day that will put real money into our Flight Attendants’ pay checks. This is the least they deserve after years of hard work and negotiations.”  

“The deal is a testament to the hard work of the Local 556 negotiating team for getting a great contract for their members – and raising the bar for Flight Attendants at other airlines who will benefit from the TWU’s hard work. It also comes just two weeks after TWU Local 577 contract at Allegiant set new pay and work rule standards for all low-cost carriers, which we believe will help Flight Attendants represented by AFA achieve significantly better wages and work rules at both Frontier and Spirit.” said TWU Administrative Vice President Mike Mayes.  

“I’m proud of Local 556’s efforts to get this deal over the line and ensure a better future for Southwest Flight Attendants,” said TWU Aviation Division Director Andre Sutton.   

TWU 556 represents more than 21,000 Flight Attendants across the country at Southwest Airlines. Our Southwest Flight Attendants have endured a pandemic, increased numbers of unruly passengers, threats of layoffs and furloughs, and several operational meltdowns at Southwest - including a $140 million fine from the federal government that was the largest consumer protection penalty in the airline industry’s history, all during these negotiations.    

In addition to the average pay increase of 22.3 percent, the deal includes three percent pay raises in 2025, 2026 and 2027. In response to the 2022 meltdown, the deal includes a revised reserve system that ends the 24-hour on call system to give Flight Attendants more rest. 

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Transport Workers Union Local 592
1001 W. Euless Blvd, Ste 208
Euless, TX 76040
  (817) 545-2326

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