Southwest says it has negotiated new contract with union; pilots would need to ratify it

Associated Press

Southwest Airlines says it has reached an agreement with union negotiators on terms for a new contract with pilots, whose approval would be needed before it takes effect.

Terms weren't disclosed on Thursday.

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Leaders of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association are expected to meet later this month to decide whether to hold a ratification vote. Southwest Vice President Craig Drew says the process is far from complete but the company is pleased to have this agreement.

Southwest has about 8,000 pilots. It's the nation's fourth-biggest airline, and 83 percent of its workers are represented by unions, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Shares of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. fell 29 cents to close at $37.43. They have fallen 12 percent this year.