Flight attendants at Southwest vote by wide margin to reject contract proposal

IndustriesAssociated Press

Flight attendants at Southwest Airlines Co. have voted overwhelmingly to reject a contract offer that included pay raises and a bonus.

The Transport Workers Union Local 556 said Friday that 89 percent of eligible employees voted and of those, 87 percent opposed the contract.

Continue Reading Below

The agreement between the airline and union negotiators included an 8 percent ratification bonus, an immediate raise of 3 percent and more raises during the six-year contract. The union said many employees objected to work-rule changes but provided no details.

The sides have been negotiating for more than two years and will resume bargaining. By federal law, contracts in the airline industry don't expire; they run until replaced by a new one.

The vote was announced a day after Southwest reported a record second-quarter profit of $608 million, the company's ninth-straight quarter of record earnings. Dallas-based Southwest is the nation's fourth-biggest airline by passenger miles flown.

Shares of Southwest were down $1.47, or 4 percent, to $35.01 in afternoon trading. They started the day down 14 percent in 2015 after gaining 125 percent in 2014.