DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) President Captain Casey Murray issued a call to the association’s membership today for a strike authorization vote.
This action by the pilot association follows the recent Southwest Airlines (WN) holiday meltdown and what the union calls “the utter lack of meaningful progress on a contract negotiation” that has been ongoing for more than three years, with scheduling work rules and information technology requests in particular.
According to the union, the vote will begin on May 1 and will eventually give the pilots the ability to strike once they are released to self-help. Capt Murray believes that May 1 provides a date that allows our union time to prepare.
The head of the pilot union added that the timeframe would give WN customers time to book elsewhere “so that they can have confidence that their summer vacations, honeymoons, and family outings are assured.”
The vote will be counted at the end of May. Murray also stated, “It is not a decision we have taken lightly, but given the trajectory of our current leadership group, we have little faith in the stability and future of our airline.”
Further Comments from SWAPA President
Captain Murray stated, “While your Board of Directors and Executive Officers have had many strategic discussions on timing, I think it is best to consider what our customers have been through over the past several years and the past several weeks.”
The Capt added, “It was the lack of discussion or commitment by our leadership team to rectify these issues for our passengers and our pilots that drove us to make the decision to carry forward on this path afforded to us by the Railway Labor Act.”
Casey was hired by WN in 2007 after spending 17 years at Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA). During his time at ASA, he held the position of Check Airman and was on the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) negotiating team. He began serving the pilots of SWAPA in 2009 when he joined the Negotiating Committee.
Located in Dallas, Texas, SWAPA is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 10,000 pilots of WN.
Featured image: Otto Kirchof/Airways