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Southwest, mechanics reach tentative deal in labor dispute

2 years 4 months 1 week ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 March 17, 2019 12:46 PM March 17, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

DALLAS (AP) - Southwest Airlines and a union representing its mechanics say they're on the verge of ending a bitter, long-running labor dispute that has triggered hundreds of flight cancellations and raised safety concerns.

The two sides say the breakthrough announced Saturday consists of a preliminary agreement on a new contract after six years of negotiation between Southwest and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.

The tentative deal still needs to be voted on by the roughly 2,400 mechanics who will receive a 20 percent raise if the contract is approved.

The agreement came after the Federal Aviation Administration warned that the deteriorating relationship between Southwest and its mechanics threatened to undermine the airline's safety-management system.

Southwest had complained about mechanics flagging minor maintenance issues to force unnecessary flight cancellations.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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