Approve Southwest Merger
By Eddy Metcalf
March 24, 2011 - AirTran Holdings, Inc. the parent
company of AirTran Airways, announced on Wednesday that
its stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the
merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest
Airlines Co. with and into AirTran at a special meeting
More than 98.6 percent of the votes cast and 77.5
percent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the
"We are grateful for our stockholders' strong vote of
confidence in this merger," said Bob Fornaro, AirTran's
chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In
approving the transaction, our stockholders recognized
the value of bringing together AirTran and Southwest to
create a platform for increased profitability and
sustainable long-term value."
AirTran and Southwest announced the proposed merger on September 27, 2010. The companies are awaiting clearance on the proposed merger from the United States Department of Justice. The merger is currently expected to close by during the second quarter of 2011.
will to integrate AirTran into the Southwest brand by welcoming
AirTran its employees into the Southwest. The closing of the
acquisition will not necessarily trigger changes in pay rates
for AirTran Crew Members.
rates for Crew Members either presently covered by AirTran
collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), or who will be covered
by Southwest CBAs, will be determined by the applicable,
respective CBAs, as modified by any transition agreement.
respect to other employees, a number of factors could impact any
pay changes, including for example, whether or not the AirTran
Crew Members move to the same position or an alternative
position at Southwest, and when that role becomes available.
On Tuesday flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), reached a tentative agreement with AirTran Airways. Mediated talks took place under the auspices of the National Mediation Board. The two-year agreement calls for pay increases and enhanced work rules. Specific terms will not be released until the over 2,000 Flight Attendants have had a chance to review the details. The tentative agreement will be sent out for membership review and ratification. The results will be counted on April 18. If ratified, the agreement would take effect May 1.
Attendants deserve a contract that reflects the contributions we have
made to the success of our carrier,? said Alison Head, AFA AirTran
President. ?While AirTran Flight Attendants look forward to the
opportunities ahead with Southwest Airlines, we remained committed to
negotiating improvements that advance our careers immediately. Over the
past five weeks, AirTran Flight Attendants have been picketing across
the country, sending a message that we would not rest until we had a new
agreement in place. The company responded by coming to the table with
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