Pilots from the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) joined mechanics from Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) Local 11 in support of their informational picket near Love Field Airport in Dallas. Along with SWAPA, other AMFA locals and the Transportation Workers Union (TWU) Local 556 which represents the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants, joined AMFA Local 11 on the picket line.
After more than four years of negotiating, SWAPA and Southwest Airlines continue to meet in mediated sessions through the National Mediation Board. SWAPA has held picketing events three times so far in 2016 and many AMFA Local 11 members showed up to support SWAPA during those pickets. Captain Jon Weaks, president of SWAPA, said it’s important for Southwest Airlines’ unions to unite.
“We are happy to have pilot representatives supporting our AMFA brothers and sisters on the line,” Weaks said. “It’s been four years since Southwest Airlines has given either AMFA or SWAPA a well-deserved contract and we believe that uniting shows Southwest management how serious we all are about getting a deserving contract. In these times of incredible profit, the time to get contracts finalized with their frontline employees has since long passed.”
On Thursday, Southwest Airlines announced an $820 million profit for the second quarter of 2016, bringing the profit total for the first half of the year to $1.33 billion. Southwest shareholders have been awarded $3.1 billion in stock buybacks with over $2 billion more planned. However, numerous work groups at Southwest Airlines, including both SWAPA and AMFA, continue to work without a contract.
Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 8,300 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety.