Southwest Airlines said just 609 employees accepted the company's buyout offer (ATWOnline, July 18), which included a $25,000 payment as well as benefits such as SWA travel privileges. The airline said the program's intention was to lower costs by encouraging senior high-paid employees to take voluntarily leave. It said staff totals will stay relatively static as it plans to replace nearly all of the bought-out workers with younger employees earning lower wages. The majority of the departing ...

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