Last Updated on June 22, 2022
Over 1,000 Southwest Airlines pilots protested together outside Dallas Love Field Airport on Tuesday morning.
The Southwest Pilots Association (SWAPA) said the picketing was carried out in a protest over poor working conditions.
In a statement posted by the union, the SWAPA listed six reasons for the protest:
– 896 – Number of days since SWAPA proposed a new, industry-leading contract to attract the next generation of aviators.
– 1984 – The last year that Southwest Airlines made any meaningful improvements to CBA language covering maternity leave for Pilots.
– 20,000 – Number of days off Pilots have lost to schedule mismanagement over the last 12 months.
– 164,084 – Number of days over the last 12 months that SWAPA Pilots have voluntarily flown on days off to get SWA passengers to their desired destinations.
– 312,084 – Number of times SWAPA Pilots’ schedules have been changed over the last 12 months.
– 110,915,000 – Number of passengers SWAPA Pilots have carried safely to their destinations over the last year.
Over 1,000 pilots for Southwest Airlines are protesting outside Love Field in Dallas for being overworked and understaffedpic.twitter.com/VppXZ0LYYf
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) June 21, 2022
President of the SWAPA, Capt. Casey Murray, explained the reasons behind the protest to NBCDFW. “Our pilots have had to address the fatigue issue with management publicly, which is something that we never want to do, but ultimately, our pilots have been tired and have been trying to do everything they can,” said Murray.
One of the biggest issues the pilots are protesting involves their scheduling. Murray said pilots have consistently faced scheduling reassignments, forcing them to feel fatigued, overworked, and frustrated.
“Our pilots have lost over the last year almost 20,000 days off, which is over 50 years that our pilots have lost – involuntarily being made to fly on off days. And again, fatigue is cumulative. So it adds up and the more flying that there is that has to be covered,” Murray explained.
The union called the display “the largest display of unity in southwest airlines history.”
The demonstration was labeled an “informational picket” to help spread awareness to the general public about the working condition faced by the pilots.
SWAPA emphasized it was not a walkout. Pilots are not allowed to skip work to participate in the picket since it would negatively impact Southwest Airlines’ operation.
Southwest Airlines told NBC 5 in a statement, “We’re aware that some off-duty pilots are participating in informational picketing. Southwest airlines respects the rights of our employees to express their opinions, and we do not anticipate any disruption in service as a result of this single demonstration. For 51 years, we’ve maintained a legendary southwest culture that honors our valued employees.”
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.