The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai A Professional Corporation

Southwest Airlines contract dispute "aired" in public

Many California employers have faced challenging situations where workers state grievances and demand certain actions from them. Depending on particular circumstances, problems might be easily resolved through peaceful negotiations. Other times, communication breakdowns between management and workers lead to public protests, such as a recent contract dispute in another state.

The contract dispute has been ongoing between Southwest Airlines mechanics and their employers. The mechanics have been supported by flight attendants, pilots and other workers. However, they say they have been working without a contract for the past four years and are no longer willing to do so. 

On a recent Friday, the airline workers staged a picket line. Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association president, Dale Dixon, spoke on behalf of his colleagues to tell Southwest Airlines that money is not the only issue with which they are concerned. He said the airline has been outsourcing so much mechanic work that many are worried about future job stability.

Southwest Airlines has reportedly offered its mechanics incremental raises, as well as signing bonuses. A formal statement from the company expressed its desire to continue working to obtain an amicable agreement with its mechanics. The vice president of a consulting firm also said managers are obligated to maintain their planes in the most fiscally responsible manner possible. Many California employers have been able to avert employee protests in public by allowing skilled negotiators to represent them to resolve a contract dispute.  A business and commercial law attorney is often able to fulfill this role.

 

Source: CBS DFW, "Southwest Mechanics Challenge Airline Publically In Contract Dispute", Jack Fink, Sept. 23, 2016

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