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Southwest Airlines Seeks Mediation Assistance With Its Dispatchers

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Thu, Mar 17, 2011 - DALLAS -

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is currently in contract negotiations with its Dispatchers, represented by Transport Workers Union (TWU) 550. At yesterday's negotiating session, the carrier announced that it will seek assistance from the National Mediation Board through the mediation process as defined by the Railway Labor Act.

"We are naturally disappointed that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the Transport Workers Union 550," said Greg Wells, Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President of Operations. "Southwest Airlines is committed to rewarding our Dispatchers for their hard work and productivity. At the same time, we must reach a fair and equitable agreement that we believe will ensure the continued competitiveness and financial stability of the entire company. Mediation is another method to assist in the collective bargaining process, and we look forward to working with a Mediator to arrive at a contract that is acceptable to everyone."

Dates for mediation sessions have not been set. TWU 550 represents approximately 185 Southwest Airlines Dispatchers. The Company's current contract with TWU 550 became amendable in November 2009.