Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines blames flight disruptions on union mechanics, exacerbating existing labor tensions

March 6, 2019

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Union talks between Southwest and its mechanics have been underway for years, but the issue is in sharp focus after the airline said that a host of maintenance issues was due to illegal union tactics.

  • In April of 2018, two weeks before a Southwest flight incident led to a fatality, AMFA raised concerns regarding the “degradation of safety with Southwest’s maintenance program”
  • According to the union’s national director, the underlying tension stems from the company’s desire to outsource more maintenance work
  • Short-term pressure on margin may result if Southwest raises wages or cuts outsourcing, but achieving best practices within the airline industry with respect to labor relations is deserving of a higher multiple on earnings

Material Categories
Accident and Safety Management
Fuel Management
Labor Relations