Southwest Airlines unionized pilots nix proposed contract

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DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines Co. unionized pilots have rejected a proposed four-year labor contract.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association announced Wednesday that about 62 percent of those voting rejected the measure, with 38 percent in favor.

A union statement says the proposal, reached in September, included some higher pay and work improvements but was not acceptable to Southwest pilots. The association represents about 8,000 pilots.

Leaders of the Dallas-based carrier and the union say they expect to return to mediated negotiations in the spring.

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Southwest pilots will continue working under their existing contract until a new agreement is reached.

The company and union negotiators have been in contract talks for more than three years and began mediated talks last November.