Southwest Airlines aircraft mechanics represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association voted "no" to a seniority integration agreement with the operator and mechanics with AirTran Airways. Approval of the agreement would have paved the way for meshing the group's seniority lists.
The IBT, which represents about 400 AirTrans mechanics, and AMFA, which represents about 1,600 Southwest mechanics, now might have to jointly file for arbitration.
Southwest has said it would prefer to jointly settle matters outside arbitration.
Jim Sokol, Southwest's VP of maintenance operations, said in a statement, "Our vested interest remains focused on our employees, and we fully support a proposal that meets their needs without increasing complexity, creating division or diminishing Southwest's culture."
Jim has been with Southwest for a long time, is well respected and is also a really nice guy. Based on knowing him, I believe his statement is sincere.