Why Flight Attendants Are Upset Southwest Airlines Offered Raises and Bonuses in a YouTube Video

The union for Southwest Airlines' flight attendants is accusing the company of circumventing negotiations by going straight to employees with details of potential raises that could come with a new contract.In a video sent to employees last week, executives at Dallas-based Southwest Airlines pitched a proposal with options for 3% raises or 2.5% raises with a $2,000 signing bonus.The two sides started talks on a new contract earlier this year and Southwest said it hopes to get a deal done by Nov. 1 that covers all 16,778 flight attendants.In the video, posted in an unlisted link on YouTube, Southwest vice president of inflight operations Sonya Lacore and vice president of labor relations Russell McCrady said they were giving an update on negotiations and gave details on the proposed raises. They also said there is a proposal for a new reserve system for flight attendants.The company presented the deal to the union earlier this month, McCrady said. The video from Southwest followed a private video from the union updating contract talks. Even with raises, TWU 556 President Lyn Montgomery said the company's early proposal has been "overwhelmingly unpopular" with members. "It didn't answer ... many of the questions our members have," Montgomery said. "It isn't normal for the company to come out and give this straight to members."In the video, McCrady said the pay package isn't a final proposal to flight attendants but the company hopes to narrow negotiations. "This is not a take-it-or-leave-it offer, so we narrowed the topics that we were willing to tackle in this negotiation," McCrady said.In a statement, Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish said the airline often communicates with employees about negotiations and proposals "so that when the time comes to vote they can make an informed decision regarding what is best for their interests."  Continue reading...

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