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Southwest pilots union nearing contract with airline


Southwest Airlines is close to a deal with its pilots union that could avert a strike right before the busy holiday season.

According to the union, the two parties have reached agreements on pay, retirement benefits and other key items but are still working on an implementation schedule. If an agreement is worked out, it will still need to be ratified by union members. No specifics of the agreement have been announced.

If ratified, the airline will avoid having 11,000 pilots walk off the job.

The possible agreement comes weeks after Southwest reached a deal with its flight attendants union, providing 36% pay increases for them.

Southwest is one of the last major airlines on the verge of completing a contract with its pilots union. Delta, American and United have all reached historic agreements with their unions this year, increasing the industry standard wage significantly.

A deal at Southwest would end a long and contentious round of negotiations that saw the union threatening to strike several times.

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