(CTN News) – I am not sure how much worse it can get for Southwest Airlines, but just wait until you see what will happen if the carrier suffers a pilot strike a few months from now.
As well as having outdated technology, Southwest has also been plagued by scheduling issues with its pilots as a result of outdated technology.
As a result, it is likely that it will have fewer pilots than it normally does.
Southwest Airlines’ pilots are preparing to strike, according to a report published exclusively by The Street.
Over the past four years, Southwest Airlines has been negotiating with the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association (SWAPA), its pilot union. According to reports, Southwest is the last major airline that has not been able to come to an agreement with its pilots.
There have been agreements reached with the pilots of American, Delta, and United Airlines. During those negotiations, the focus was primarily on increasing the pay of the union members.
The main sticking point with Southwest was scheduling and productivity, according to SWAPA President Casey Murray.
There is no way he wants to see exhausted pilots flying three and four flights a day.
“In the past year, we have lost 35,000 days of vacation due to the involuntary forced work of our pilots on their day off. As far as fatigue calls are concerned, July of 2023 marked the highest number in the history of SWA. There must be a correction made to the scheduling system if SWA is to excel in the future.
In an email Murray wrote that SWA’s focus today is on not failing, and as such, will never win when the focus will be on not failing through schedule reductions and preemptive cancellations.
Southwest Airlines appears to be ill-prepared for a strike, so it appears that they are not prepared for one. There is, however, no airline that is prepared for its pilots to walk off the job in the event of a strike.
In part, this is due to scheduling problems that Southwest experienced last Christmas, which means that passengers are wary of the upcoming holidays.
It was called a scheduling mismanagement by Murray.
“We feel confident that the mediation process will continue to drive us even closer to the final agreement that rewards our Pilots and supports our business,” said Adam Carlisle, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Labor Relations, in a statement.
As he stated, Southwest is about a year behind other carriers when it comes to negotiating with its pilots, but he failed to mention that Southwest has already been negotiating with its pilots for nearly four years.