They were already strained, but relations between the pilots and management of Southwest Airlines reached rock bottom on Wednesday. Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) President Casey Murray has called on its almost 10.000 members to vote from May 1 to authorize a strike. This is not just the after-effect of the December meltdown, but follows years of fruitless negotiations about new labor contracts that come together. Southwest’s union relations reach rock bottom.
As Murray says in a letter to his members, he is angry with the way Southwest’s management under CEO Robert Jordan has been dealing with the union and continuously fails to conclude a new contract. “I’m angry because we are 869 days past our amendable date and Labor Relations refuses to discuss your work rules. Our airline just suffered a loss of $825 million due to outdated technology and procedures. That loss occurred days after Mr. Jordan announced the resumption of shareholder returns worth $400 million, while two-thirds of SWA’s labor groups work under amendable CBAs. That loss will also reduce employee profit sharing by $120 million.”
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