The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association has called for a strike vote after the Christmas flight


Dallas ( – Like Southwest Airlines He continues to clean up the mess With the Christmas travel fiasco behind it, the carrier faces a new challenge – the pilots’ strike.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association called for a strike vote on Wednesday.

“This is not about the pilots, the soul of Southwest Airlines,” said Captain Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA). “Our mission is to provide what it is, safe and reliable transportation, and reliability does not exist today, and our customers deserve better. Our employees deserve better.”

More than 10,000 pilots represented by the Southwest Airlines Pilots Union will begin voting on May 1 whether to authorize a strike.

The union has been negotiating a new contract with the airline for more than three years, and things seem to have stalled.

Southwest pilots chose last summercalling for better scheduling and technology updates, but this is the first time SWAPA has called for strike authorization.

The historic move follows the airline’s Christmas-week disaster. Murray hopes it’s a wake-up call for Southwest Airlines.

“We work hard, and these inefficiencies are not normal and cannot be normal for the continued existence of Southwest Airlines,” Murray said.

To prevent another inefficiency, the company has budgeted more than $1 billion to upgrade its outdated computer systems.

Merai says the airline’s problem will only get worse.

“How are they using pilots and flight attendants,” he said. “How they connect the pilots to the aircraft, that’s where they fail. You can spend a billion dollars on IT, but if the processes are the same, you’ll get the same results.”

Votes for SWAPA pilots will be counted at the end of May. If they approve the strike, it still needs approval from federal labor officials, which could take months.

Meanwhile, customers are hoping the airline can reach an agreement with the pilots’ union instead.

“We’re loyal, and we hang in there,” said Southwest Airlines passenger Casey Graves. “If things happen, they happen, and we have to make last minute changes – we do that.”

Southwest Airlines Vice President of Labor Relations, Adam Carlyle, released this statement on the strike authorization:

“The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association’s call for a leave vote will not affect Southwest’s operations or our ability to take care of our customers. We will work through the process outlined in the Railroad Workers Act and with the assistance of the National Arbitration Board to reach an agreement that will reward our pilots and keep them competitive in the industry.”

“The union’s potential vote will not hinder our efforts at the negotiating table. We are scheduled to resume mediation on January 24.”


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