To the IAM Membership at Southwest Airlines:
As you have seen, the TWU has a tentative agreement with their Ops and Ramp agents. Congratulations to them. Like negotiations with many companies with multiple unions on the property, each union follows the other and gets more, in essence, leap-frogging each other. The IAM anticipated this when we negotiated your agreement, and to protect our members, we negotiated clauses on several issues to insure gains made by others would apply to IAM workers. There are three so called “me too” clauses that could be an issue with the TWU agreement. The first states that if the TWU group receives a greater wage rate percentage increase and/or bonus percentage increase than us, we will receive that higher wage/bonus adjustment. The second protection clause relates to retro pay, with the same language as wages – if they get something higher, we get that too. The third protection is related to 401k contributions, again with the same language. In this TA, it appears the TWU will have a higher wage increase than what we have in our agreement. The IAM negotiated protections provide the increased benefits at the same time they take effect for the TWU membership. If this TA is ratified by the Southwest TWU membership that would trigger the protections we have in place in our agreement. We have received many calls and emails asking about these protections, what they say and where are they in the contract. The protection agreements are signed negotiation documents, which are not in the contract book, but are the official record of negotiations.
At this point, we first must wait to see if the TWU TA ratifies. If that occurs, we will immediately set up a meeting with Southwest to discuss our IAM negotiated protection agreements. In the meantime, watch our website for any updates, don’t listen to rumors, get the facts from your General Chairs.
PRESIDENT & DIRECTING