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Southwest Airlines pilot union activates its strike preparedness committee

HowardBorden

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On the eve of the Southwest Airlines annual meeting, the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association announced Tuesday it was activating its strike preparedness committee.
It doesn't mean there's a strike imminent, particularly with the National Mediation Board appearing to be extremely reluctant to allow strikes at any airline. But it means the pilots are taking the necessary steps to be ready to strike if it gets to that point.
'While a strike is certainly not in either side's best interest, the Railway Labor Act clearly defines the procedure for protracted negotiations which can lead to a lock out by management or a suspension of service by our pilots, SWAPA president Paul Jackson said Tuesday.
"SWAPA is doing our due diligence to prepare our pilots and passengers for the next steps in this federal mediation process should we not be able to reach a deal. We have been in negotiations for more than three years and are seeking a market rate contract for pilots that is in line, economically, with our peers at other major airlines," he said.
The two sides have been in mediated talks overseen by the National Mediation Board since November. Under the Railway Labor Act, neither side can engage in "self help" like strikes or lockouts until after NMB has decided that the talks are at an impasse.
At that point, the board would proffer binding arbitration to both sides. If either side rejected arbitration, the NMB would start a 30-day cooling-off period, at the end of which either side could act with self help.
The NMB appears to have put talks between the airline and TWU Local 555, the ramp works, "on ice," meaning that no further talks would be scheduled because negotiations had quit making progress. But it has not declared an impasse.
Keep reading for the SWAPA press release.
Southwest Pilots Union Begins Strike Preparedness
DALLAS The Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) today announced staffing and funding for a Strike Preparedness Committee. The committee will work closely with professional outside consultants, staff, other committees and resources of the union to prepare the pilots of Southwest and the flying public for all contingencies available under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) if SWAPA and Southwest Airlines cannot come to an agreement on a new contract in the coming months. The pilots and company have been engaged in federally-mediated talks through the National Mediation Board (NMB) since November in hopes of closing out remaining open items including pay, retirement, scheduling, and job scope.
"While a strike is certainly not in either side's best interest, the Railway Labor Act clearly defines the procedure for protracted negotiations which can lead to a lock out by management or a suspension of service by our pilots. SWAPA is doing our due diligence to prepare our pilots and passengers for the next steps in this federal mediation process should we not be able to reach a deal" said SWAPA President Capt. Paul Jackson. "We have been in negotiations for more than three years and are seeking a market rate contract for pilots that is in line, economically, with our peers at other major airlines."
SWAPA's Strike Preparedness Committee is structured to and tasked with educating SWAPA members and the general public on future steps of the negotiating process, formulating contingency plans for potential job action situations, and maintaining relationships with other airline groups who have self-help experience. They will work in conjunction with the Outreach Committee, which will host events nationwide to talk to pilots and their families about the status of negotiations and the preparations needed should negotiations not come to a conclusion and SWAPA is released by the NMB to proceed to self-help.
"Despite astronomical profits and record-setting forecasts for the coming years, Southwest Airlines management has not come forward with an economic offer that can bring both sides to an agreement," continued Jackson. "Our offer is very affordable and would not impact the company's competitive low-cost advantage. It is time for a deal."
Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 8,000 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information on the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, visit www.swapa.org.
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/...vates-its-strike-preparedness-committee.html/
 
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johnsonrod

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How about you propose SWA starts charging for bags and they pay the pilots the net proceeds from that effort ($ billions). Everyone wins (except the pax) with no incremental cost to SWA corporate. Done. :D
 

Kharma Police

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How about you propose SWA starts charging for bags and they pay the pilots the net proceeds from that effort ($ billions). Everyone wins (except the pax) with no incremental cost to SWA corporate. Done. :D

There is a reason why pilots don't make good CEOs.
 

ghostrider64

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You guys should borrow Netjets Pilot's Blimp... I'm sure a deal can be worked out for preferential interviews, not to mention we would swell your picket lines by at least 400 warriors, as demonstrated in OMAHA.
 

Kharma Police

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As told by SWAPA to us Trannys' after the fact,

The first deal is ALWAYS the best deal.
 

redflyer65

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As told by SWAPA to us Trannys' after the fact,

The first deal is ALWAYS the best deal.


I haven't seen a deal yet. GK is going to need to open the 4 Billion dollar checkbook a little wider. It's ridiculous that the company has pushed it this far. I need to see every dollar of retro, or it will be the easiest no vote ever.
 

outerlimits

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I haven't seen a deal yet. GK is going to need to open the 4 Billion dollar checkbook a little wider. It's ridiculous that the company has pushed it this far. I need to see every dollar of retro, or it will be the easiest no vote ever.


Is it tue the your CEO does not want to give retro ? I heard he wants to give a signing bonus .
 

Tripower455

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I haven't seen a deal yet. GK is going to need to open the 4 Billion dollar checkbook a little wider. It's ridiculous that the company has pushed it this far. I need to see every dollar of retro, or it will be the easiest no vote ever.


The hard part will be convincing 50%+1 of your brethren to hit the NO! button.
 

freightdogfred

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The hard part will be convincing 50%+1 of your brethren to hit the NO! button.

Exactly. 1800 of us have been schooled. The first deal is always the best.
 

Kharma Police

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Hopefully we have 1800 new members that are pre-wired to vote NO.

How soon SWAPA forgets that they owe Gary a favor for the huge seniority jump and "captured captain seats". Don't be so ungrateful and don't bother asking us Tranny's to be the heavies, you carry your own water.
 

redflyer65

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How soon SWAPA forgets that they owe Gary a favor for the huge seniority jump and "captured captain seats". Don't be so ungrateful and don't bother asking us Tranny's to be the heavies, you carry your own water.

I didn't ask for anything KP. Vote accordingly and I'll do the same.

There was never any quid pro quo with GK. But you keep that urban legend alive if you like. It's long over anyway and it makes no difference to me.
 

Kharma Police

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I didn't ask for anything KP. Vote accordingly and I'll do the same.

There was never any quid pro quo with GK. But you keep that urban legend alive if you like. It's long over anyway and it makes no difference to me.

It's all good with me, I have moved on and have no hard feelings. I hope we all get what we deserve. I really enjoy the people and the job.

Please don't insult my intelligence and say that we Tranny's were negotiating with SWAPA. Gary did the negotiating while SWAPA was in the corner with a coloring book. Anyone who has watched SWAPA operate would readily agree. I'm sure there wasn't a quid pro quo but sooner or later you have to payback a favor.
 

redflyer65

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It's all good with me, I have moved on and have no hard feelings. I hope we all get what we deserve. I really enjoy the people and the job.

Please don't insult my intelligence and say that we Tranny's were negotiating with SWAPA. Gary did the negotiating while SWAPA was in the corner with a coloring book. Anyone who has watched SWAPA operate would readily agree. I'm sure there wasn't a quid pro quo but sooner or later you have to payback a favor.

Well put KP. I think in round two, GK told everyone how it was going down. I don't buy the payback angle (JMO), but the rest is spot on.

Glad it's going well for you. Hope you re-upgrade soon if you haven't done so already. Let's get the contract we all deserve.
 

Kharma Police

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Well put KP. I think in round two, GK told everyone how it was going down. I don't buy the payback angle (JMO), but the rest is spot on.

Glad it's going well for you. Hope you re-upgrade soon if you haven't done so already. Let's get the contract we all deserve.

Moving back over very soon, thank you for asking. I've learned a lot and flown with some great captains.

It's a shame we are going down this road, Southwest is a great company with incredible employees. So much potential, I just hope management realizes that its greatest asset is its employees not the stockholders.
 

Tripower455

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How soon SWAPA forgets that they owe Gary a favor for the huge seniority jump and "captured captain seats". Don't be so ungrateful and don't bother asking us Tranny's to be the heavies, you carry your own water.


Actually, if anyone is "owed" a favor, it's the SW pilots. We gave GK EXACTLY what he wanted via a concessionary contract and 18 friggin side letters, many DURING, section 6. The only folks who have anything to show for all that philanthropy are the FOs that got to upgrade via SL 10.
 
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