Photo: Associated Press

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers announced that its approximately 6,500 members — passenger service and reservations agents — have overwhelmingly approved a new contract between the union and Southwest Airlines.

The contract, with a four-year term, maintains the airline industry’s most lucrative defined-contribution retirement plan, according to the union, and also made other gains: wage improvements that preserve the highest base wage rates in the industry, a signing bonus, industry-best job security provisions and improved vacation flexibility, among others.

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