Pilots' union at Southwest asks for US mediator to help move stalled contract negotiations

Associated Press

The union representing pilots at Southwest Airlines has asked federal mediators to help break a two-year stalemate in contract negotiations.

Southwest said that it had been optimistic about an agreement, but that the union ended negotiations and filed for mediation.

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Southwest has had relatively few labor conflicts over the years, but as the airline's growth has slowed, pilots have complained about a lack of advancement opportunities and stagnant compensation.

On Thursday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association said that it had asked for help from the National Mediation Board.

Southwest Airlines Co. earned $946 million in the first nine months of this year, up 75 percent from the same period last year on higher revenue and lower fuel spending.

Company shares fell 8 cents to $39.19 Thursday.