The leading union of the airline’s pilots, Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), has declared that a strike vote will take place on May 1, 2023.
The choice was decided in response to the carrier’s recent operational collapse right before the holidays, and it also takes into account the absence of contract discussions to make progress.
SWAPA requested a vote from the Association’s membership to authorize a strike.
The action was the direct result of “Southwest’s largest meltdown and the utter lack of meaningful progress on a contract negotiation, with scheduling work rules and information technology asks in particular”. According to the union, the issues have been present for more than three years.
“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,” stated Casey Murray, the President of SWAPA.
Murray pointed out that the leadership team’s inaction to rectify problems experienced by both passengers and employees has forced the union to make this decision that is “afforded to us by the Railway Labor Act”.