November 20, 2020
Despite the Company’s very awkward attempt to bargain directly with its employees and go around your negotiators, the fact remains that there is no contract package for our members to vote on. We continue the negotiating process under the rules of the Railway Labor Act with a mediator who calls for our official negotiating meetings. No such meetings have been recently called and, therefore, nothing has changed since our last report.
It is true that your Union is open to any dialogue that will bring us closer to the agreement you deserve. An effort was made outside of mediated talks that failed to move the company closer to the solutions it would take to close our negotiations. This just keeps us on the federally mediated negotiations path.
There is wide rumor of a request for wage concessions for IAM represented Southwest employees. To be absolutely clear – Southwest has not proposed any wage concession to your negotiators. The Company has repeatedly stated that they are not seeking wage concessions to your negotiators. The Union has made it abundantly clear that our members have been contributing monetarily to the Company through stagnant wages with no increases for well more than one year while all other work groups have taken pay increases, including management.
Other work groups have been asked for reductions – from their higher pay status – with a promise that it be temporary. It would be beyond unfair to demand that IAM represented employees give more than they do every paycheck. And, we believe that is why they haven’t asked.
Here’s one more thing to consider: Southwest negotiators have repeatedly told us that they do not intend to lay-off or furlough any IAM represented employee. The truth is, only the Company controls whether they will lay-off or furlough any employee. While the IAM has never furloughed any Southwest member, the Company has. If the Union controlled staffing, no employee would ever be furloughed.
Your Union remains dedicated to reaching a contract agreement you deserve, even in these most uncertain times.
Your continued expression of solidarity is appreciated.
Sincerely and fraternally,