Southwest Airlines plans to raise minimum pay to $15 an hour

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines says it will raise minimum pay to $15 an hour for about 7,000 employees. That’s about 12% of the airline’s employees. Southwest said Friday that it plans for the raises to take effect Aug. 1, although the company has to talk to its unions before raising pay for some of the workers. Southwest is announcing the pay raises to keep and retain workers as air travel picks up. The number of air travelers in the U.S. has topped 2 million on several days in the last couple weeks, although travel levels are still one-fourth below this month in 2019, before the pandemic.