Southwest Airlines’ pilot union has called for a strike authorization vote.
President of Southwest Airlines Pilot Association, Capt. Casey Murray, says they have “little faith in the stability and future of our airline.”
The purpose of the strike is to challenge and change the “current leadership group.” Capt. Murray says they are taking the company in the wrong direction.
Just weeks ago, a major technical meltdown in the company left tens of thousands of passengers stranded across the United States.
“It is not a decision we have taken lightly, but given the trajectory of our current leadership group, we have little faith in the stability and future of our airline,” Capt. Casey Murray said.
The strike authorization vote will take place beginning May 1.
The association represents 10,000 pilots.
— Brian Bird (@brbird) January 18, 2023
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The airline said the proposed vote will not affect operations and is “not an indication of an impending work stoppage.”
As major US airlines scramble to capitalize on booming consumer demand and with the industry returning to profitability, pilots at all major US carriers have been demanding higher wages and a better work-life balance.
Southwest pilots have been locked in talks over a new contract with the airline for nearly three years.
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Delta Air Lines offered a 34% cumulative pay increase last month to its pilots over three years in a new contract after the Atlanta-based carrier’s pilots voted overwhelmingly in October to authorize a strike.
Pilots have termed Delta’s offer as a benchmark for other contracts.