Southwest Airlines pilots picket for a new labor contract
After working more than four years without a contract, pilots from the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) gathered at the Dallas Love Field Airport terminal to stand together in an informational picket to display their dissatisfaction. A line of pilots stretched outside from ticketing to baggage claim, stoically holding signs in an expression of frustration over a lengthy labor relations battle.
"We have 1,000 pilots here today to protest a protracted negotiation now approaching four-and-a-half years," said SWAPA President, Captain Jon Weaks. "The pilots of Southwest simply want to remain contractually on par with our fellow professional pilots at other companies. Management actions, however, continue to foster labor discord. We are truly saddened that our company has strayed so far from the people-focused roots that made it the success it is today."
After more than two years in traditional bargaining, SWAPA and Southwest Airlines have been in federal mediation since November 2014, which includes meetings this week in California. During that time, executives have enjoyed nearly 50% in average raises and shareholders have enjoyed nearly $6 billion in stock buybacks while SWA pilot wages have been stagnant since 2011 and are well behind industry standard wages.
"We are also working to 'pay it forward' beyond just this pilot group," continued Weaks. "Pilots looking for employment at a major airline are certainly not going to choose Southwest Airlines without a competitive contract, and we are already seeing the negative impact. Now is the time to finish these negotiations, both to reward the most productive pilots in the industry and to position Southwest to be able to recruit pilots from an already dwindling pool of qualified candidates."
The SWAPA pilots were also joined by Southwest flight attendants, mechanics, and pilots from other airlines.
Japan draws closer to long-awaited supersonic entry
Japanese engineering companies announce a coalition with Japan’s space agency to develop a new, world-leading supe...
Ryanair to sue UK government over traffic-light system
Ryanair plans to sue the government of the United Kingdom over travel restrictions under the so-called traffic lig...
Cathay in works to develop single-pilot system for long-haul
Cathay Pacific is in the works with Airbus to develop a single-pilot system for long-haul operations on Airbus A350 airc...