The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) will be conducting its first-ever multi-base informational picket on Thursday, August 31 at noon local time.
The picket action is set to take place at Baltimore Washington, Los Angeles International, Hartsfield Jackson International (Atlanta), Houston Hobby, and Chicago Midway airports.
The picket, scheduled to commence at noon local time, will take place simultaneously at several key airports across the nation including Baltimore Washington, Los Angeles International, Hartsfield Jackson International (Atlanta), Houston Hobby, and Chicago Midway.
This event underscores the growing frustration of SWAPA members who have been seeking a fair and timely agreement with Southwest Airlines for over three years.
For more than three years, SWAPA says that it has tirelessly attempted to negotiate with Southwest Airlines in good faith. Their efforts have been exhaustive, including the filing for federal mediation back in September 2022.
Despite their perseverance, SWAPA remains the sole major airline without a principled agreement in place. This struggle has taken a toll, with the airline losing a significant number of pilots to competing carriers within the current year alone.
Taking a Stand through Informational Picketing
The upcoming informational picket serves as a tangible expression of the pilots’ deep-seated frustration. It is a clear message to the industry and to Southwest Airlines that the lack of a contract after three and a half years of negotiations is no longer acceptable.
This public demonstration is not just an act of unity; it represents a call for justice and equitable treatment.
Captain Casey Murray, President of SWAPA, emphasizes the gravity of the situation: “Our pilots deserve a contract that reflects their status as some of the most productive pilots in the industry.”
“Southwest needs to understand that their delay in reaching an agreement is causing irreparable harm. This harm extends not only to our dedicated pilots but also to the very foundation of the airline itself.”
Captain Murray further adds, “We are fully committed to following the Railway Labor Act (RLA) process through its entirety to ensure the security and stability of both our airline and our pilots’ futures.”
“Southwest Airlines cannot afford complacency while other carriers are consistently offering improved contracts and benefits, luring pilots away,” he concluded.
In a resounding show of unity and solidarity, SWAPA garnered an impressive 99% majority vote in favor of a strike this past May.
This vote, an unequivocal indication of the pilots’ readiness to act, was conducted under the jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board.
The result perhaps serves to underscore the seriousness of the issues at hand and the determination of the pilots to secure a just resolution.
As the pilots await release from the National Mediation Board, the message is clear: the pilots of Southwest Airlines are prepared to stand up for their rights and the recognition they rightfully deserve.
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