Southwest Airlines Mechanics Approve Contract

The union representing about 2,500 Southwest Airlines mechanics voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ratify a new contract proposal, ending a labor impasse that lasted nearly seven years and wound up in court twice.

The five-year deal gives the mechanics $160 million in back pay to cover the period since the last contract ended in August 2012, increases salaries 20 percent immediately and includes 3 percent annual raises, according to the union, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.