Today, June 21, the IBT-represented Mechanics at AirTran Airways voted 262 to 65 in favor of ratifying a seniority integration agreement that will serve as the basis for integrating the AirTran and Southwest mechanic seniority lists as these carriers move toward total operational integration. Along with ratifying the seniority integration agreement, the AirTran mechanics also ratified, as part of the single ratification vote, a transition agreement between the IBT and Southwest/AirTran that will give them enhanced wages and benefits along with station protection at BWI and MCO.
After months of contentious negotiations, the Airtran seniority integration committee was able to satisfy the wishes of the membership and reach an agreement with the SWA mechanics that both work groups were able to ratify. While the agreement falls outside the Teamsters philosophy of straight date of hire entry into classification the committee made the decision to proceed to a vote.
The next step in the process will be a joint filing for a single carrier finding by the National Mediation Board. Upon such finding, the AirTran mechanics will transition to the Southwest agreement. Until that time, the Teamsters will continue to provide AirTran mechanics with the superior representation they have come to expect.