DALLAS- In a significant development, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) has officially filed a request with the National Mediation Board (NMB) to be released from mediation, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing contract negotiations and a possible strike.
For over three years, SWAPA and Southwest Airlines (WN) have been engaged in negotiations for a new contract.
However, slow progress has led to mounting frustration among SWAPA negotiators. Since September 2022, the talks have been under federal mediation, further prolonging the process.
Southwest Pilots Can Go on Strike after Exiting Mediation Board
SWAPA has expressed growing dissatisfaction with Southwest’s lack of commitment to sincere negotiations and the sluggish pace of progress. The association believes that Southwest has not shown enough dedication to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.
SWAPA President Casey Murray stated, “If released from mediation, our Pilot group will continue down the path afforded to us through the Railway Labor Act (RLA). It is an unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in today.”
He added, “However, our pilots have waited long enough for a contract. We can no longer sit by as our fellow aviators are rewarded with industry-leading contracts and watch as we bleed qualified new hires to our competitors. We love our airline and are willing to do what it takes to get Southwest back to the airline it once was.”
With the filing of this request, SWAPA pilots are hopeful that Southwest’s negotiators will show a stronger commitment. Further, take more meaningful steps to expedite the much-needed contract.
They believe it is time for Southwest to acknowledge the dedication and productivity of their 737 pilots, who have contributed significantly to the airline’s success.
As the situation unfolds, the aviation industry will closely watch the developments between SWAPA and Southwest Airlines.
The resolution of this contract negotiation will significantly impact the future of Southwest and its pilots.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization based in Dallas, Texas.
It represents over 10,000 pilots of Southwest Airlines, working tirelessly to ensure a secure and fulfilling career for pilots and their families. Further, SWAPA advocates for pilots’ rights, negotiates contracts and promotes professionalism and safety within the industry.
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