October 27, 2020
Yesterday, Southwest Airlines held firm to their demands for work (scope) concessions from our members. The company is offering the illusion of “no furlough” protection through the end of 2021. Included in this proposal is an escape provision for the Company to furlough people if things don’t change or if there is a turn for the worse in the industry. We are not fooled into thinking that Southwest will employ people they simply don’t need and will pay them to stand idle. No airline would agree to that crippling commitment.
Southwest management is trying to take advantage of the COVID crisis situation by taking your work –station staffing – and giving it to non-Southwest Airlines personnel (vendors). The company wants a blank-check, unrestricted ability to open and run small and seasonal stations without using our members to do this work. This is your work, your safety net and your seniority they want to start to erase.
While their offer of no furlough extends through the end of 2021, their request to use vendors in these small and seasonal stations is forever. At the end of 2021, even if the industry has recovered, the company will have vendors doing your work in these stations – forever. The company will furlough at that time (or earlier if circumstances warrant) and you will not have access to that work. Our members, the heartbeat of Southwest Airlines, will be on the street and vendors with no loyalty or care about the future will be doing your work. This is not acceptable.
The union has offered the company a proposal to address our outstanding issues and would provide the company meaningful relief in expanding their business. The company callously refuses to entertain this job-saving and Company growth proposal. We continue to be willing to have meaningful discussions with the company, whenever the company becomes serious about reaching the agreement you deserve.
Sincerely and fraternally,