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TWU 556 Negotiating Team

Straight From The Source!

Our TWU Local 556 Negotiating Team (NT) met with the Southwest Airlines Management on July 8 and 9. Management presented their proposals concerning Article 8-Hours of Service, Article 9-Additional Flying, Article 11-Reserve, and Article 28-Scheduling Policy, followed by productive discussions between the parties. We presented our proposals on Articles 8, 9, and 11 the following […]
Author: TWU 556
Posted: July 11, 2014, 4:27 pm
TWU Local 556 Contract Action Network (CAN) Leaders will be in all Flight Attendant Lounges today, July 10. Stop by to hear the latest updates from the Negotiating Team. (And they have some information about your pay that might surprise you)
Author: TWU 556
Posted: July 10, 2014, 8:47 am
Thank you for keeping up with your Negotiating Team (NT). This week our TWU International Vice President Garry Drummond, Strategic Advisor Mark Richard and the Coordinating Council, along with the NT, conducted an intensive training session for the Contract Action Network (CAN) Base Leaders for mobilization and educational support during the bargaining process. This is […]
Author: TWU 556
Posted: July 2, 2014, 6:04 pm
I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day whether with family, friends, Co-workers, or just enjoying a little down time. Your Negotiating Team (NT) would like to update you on our talks last week May 22-23with Southwest Airlines Management. Our discussions at the table again revolved around Lineholder protections, reschedules, Crew rest, and Commuters. It […]
Author: TWU 556
Posted: May 29, 2014, 3:54 pm
Your Negotiating Team (NT) has been hard at work again!  We began our week with an all-day tour of the new Southwest Airlines Network Operations Center (NOC) on May 5.  The department houses many different groups, 24-hours a day; Inflight Scheduling, Flight Operations, Dispatch, and Maintenance Control to name a few. Each NT Member had […]
Author: TWU 556
Posted: May 11, 2014, 1:59 am
On Monday April 21, our Negotiating Team (NT) met with Southwest Airlines Management for another day of productive talks. We continued conversations regarding Article 9 – Additional Flying, specifically Reschedules, and Article 14 – Vacation. Both sides discussed their concerns and ideas for improvements. Once again we stressed the importance of quality of life for […]
Author: TWU 556
Posted: April 27, 2014, 3:55 pm

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  • What, me worry? (Or How I learned to LUV My Contract!)

    Bill Holcomb is an Oakland-based Flight Attendant and a Member of the TWU Local 556 Negotiating Team.

    Many of us have heard of, or seen, the new short-term and long-term disability programs provided for non-contract (non-Unionized) Employees here at Southwest Airlines. Some of you may have also seen similar programs offered to Unionized Employee groups.

    Arguably, Flight Attendants are the most vulnerable to short and long term injury and illness issues. Over the years, our Union has negotiated industry-leading benefits. We accrue sick bank at a 10 to 1 ratio, can bank up to 2400 TFP, and are able to utilize up to 118 TFP during months we are on leave and unable to bid. Additionally, we have long-term disability benefit that kicks in after 90 days, we’ve made improvements to our FMLA “burn rates,” and our Union provides excellent voluntary supplemental insurance packages through Colonial and Lincoln insurance providers.

    The current offers to Unionized and non-Unionized work groups carry similar themes. Accrual rates are half the current rate, a cap of one week’s worth of sick bank, short term disability at 60% rate of pay, and long term disability offered at 40% rate of pay. While Southwest Airlines Management has offered a buyout for accrued sick bank, groups have been offered only ten cents on the dollar.

    To put some of this into real numbers, currently, if you work 80 TFP a month, you can accrue 96 TFP a year in your sick bank. This equates to approximately four to five three-day trips. The plan implemented for non-Unionized, non-Contract groups would take you almost one year of flying 80 TFP a month, to accrue a max of one week’s worth of pay. Also, if you have 1000 TFP in your sick bank, that is enough to cover you for approximately eight and one-half months’ salary continuation at 118 TFP. The buyout option would pay you approximately one month’s salary for that hard earned sick bank. Just 10%!

    What can you do to ensure your continued protection from those unforeseen illnesses and accidents?

    1. Make sure to evaluate the Supplemental Insurance packages offered through TWU Local 556 to see if one fits your style of working and anticipated needs.
    2. Accrue and maintain as much sick bank as possible.
    3. Review your short-term and long-term disability benefits, along with FMLA rights and regulations in the “About Me” tab on SWALife.

    Your Negotiating Team is determined to protect, maintain and improve your Contract. We are Membership driven and encourage you to take an active part in your Negotiations

    In Unity,
    Bill Holcomb

    PS: News Flash!! On May 30, a Court ordered American Airlines to honor all retiree benefits to all current and former contract (Unionized) employees at US Airways, American and TWA only, and declined to protect the non-contract (non-Unionized) employees from the same current and former airlines. Just some food for thought.



  • TWU Local 556 acknowledges the fine work demonstrated by the Flight Attendants of Southwest Airlines flight 424 during the emergency landing and subsequent evacuation at the Port of Columbus Airport late Tuesday night. The flight, with 49 passengers and 5 Crew Members, was en-route from Baltimore to Chicago when an apparent faulty cargo fire indication forced the diversion to Columbus. Passengers and Crew were safely evacuated via emergency slides and were later transported to Chicago using another Southwest Airlines aircraft.

    Members of our Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and TWU Local 556 Safety Teams engaged shortly after the event. We continue to monitor the Crew and interact with Southwest Airlines safety investigations to advocate for the Flight Attendants involved and all Members of TWU Local 556.
  • TWU Local 556 Members showed their support at Unity Day at SFO, hosted by TWU Local 555. Our hard-working Brothers and Sisters have been in Contract Negotiations with Southwest Airlines Management for more than three years.

    The TWU Local 555 Negotiating Team will be meeting with Management and a Federal Mediator on July 23 & 24 at SFO. We encourage all of our Members to show their support to our Brothers and Sisters at TWU Local 555, representing Ramp, Operations, Provisioning, and Cargo Agents of Southwest Airlines. #555


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