Southwest pilots’ union considers picketing over the holidays to protest lack of hotels, fatigue

Southwest Airlines pilots’ union is contemplating picketing at U.S. airports over Thanksgiving and Christmas to protest what they described as a frenetic improve in schedules, amongst different complaints, its president advised CNBC.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association advised members in a video late Wednesday that it was weighing pickets and demanded the firm deal with scheduling and fatigue. The pilots’ union president, Casey Murray, mentioned the firm schedule means pilots are working further shifts with little discover.

Southwest did not instantly remark.

The message highlights the rising tensions between Southwest’s pilots as nicely its flight attendants over the firm’s push to ramp up flying to meet a revival in journey demand following the pandemic droop. American Airlines pilot and flight attendant unions have additionally complained this summer season about alack of meals and accommodations and poor scheduling.

Staffing shortages this summer season have exacerbated flight disruptions for tens of 1000’s of vacationers. Southwest this week began providing referral bonuses price $300 to workers as a result of it is struggling to hire new employees, CNBC reported Wednesday.

“We have experienced technology failures, severe understaffing and operational failures that are completely out of our control, yet we suffer the sometimes violent frustration of our customers as the face of Southwest Airlines,” wrote the government board of the flight attendants’ union, TWU Local 556, to Southwest CEO Gary Kelly on Tuesday.

Southwest’s mentioned it was conscious of the flight attendants’ considerations.

“The safety of our Employees and Customers comes first, at all times, and that continues to be the priority in everything that we do,” Sonya Lacore, the airline’s vice chairman of inflight operations, mentioned in an announcement. “We are aware of the concerns the TWU 556 raised in their letter, and there is much work already underway to address many of the issues this summer.”

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