Southwest Experiencing Both Sides Of Labor Pains
Southwest Airlines is experiencing some labor pains these days.
Mechanics who have been without a contract for four years took to the pavement – not the tarmac – on Friday to picket the carrier
Joined by other union workers, including pilots and flight attendants, mechanics staged a demonstration as Dallas’ Love Field to protest the ongoing negotiations. Dale Dixon, President of AMFA Local 11, told the local CBS affiliate that the dispute is less about money and more about job security.
He said the airline is outsourcing more maintenance work for their older jets, which need more checks, while keeping in-house maintenance for newer jets, like the 737 Max, which will require less work.
“Right now, we do not have an idea of what the maintenance operation is going to look like. We don’t know what it’s going to look like for five to ten years from now,” he said.
Southwest Airlines sent a statement to the television station saying in part, “…While we are disappointed by the lack of partnership shown by the current AMFA leaders, we remain committed to continue working with them to reach an agreement…”
READ MORE: Southwest Pilots Picket at Love Field
On the flip side, the airline released a statement saying it is pleased that the Executive Board of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, which represents the airline’s flight attendants, has voted to put the Tentative Agreement (TA) out to Southwest Flight Attendants for a ratification vote.
"I'm pleased that our Flight Attendants will have the opportunity to review and vote on this Tentative Agreement," Sonya Lacore, Vice President Cabin Services, said in a statement. "The Southwest and TWU 556 Negotiating Teams worked diligently to reach an agreement intended to immediately reward and recognize the more than 14,500 Flight Attendants that contribute to the success of Southwest Airlines.”
In an email to members, the TWU Local 556 Negotiating Team wrote, “after careful consideration, intense discussion and debate, our Executive Board decided that each and every Member should have the right to educate themselves on the terms of the tentative agreement and cast an informed vote. “This is a straightforward agreement that rewards your contributions as a Southwest Airline’s Flight Attendant to the Company’s success. Our next step is finalizing the review and voting process as outlined in our bylaws. This will include the information you receive in order to make an educated vote on our collective future.”
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