Southwest Pilots' Union Sues Airline Over COVID-19 Response

The association accused Southwest Airlines of violating the Railway Labor Act and said it hopes to block any other similar actions.

learn more about Entrepreneur Staff

By Entrepreneur Staff

Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association sued the airline carrier Tuesday, alleging federal labor law violations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The union, which is the only bargaining unit for nearly 10,000 pilots at the company, said Southwest changed working conditions, rules and pay rates during the travel slump of the pandemic, but didn't negotiate the changes.

In a suit filed Monday in a Dallas federal court, the association accused Southwest Airlines of violating the Railway Labor Act and said it hopes to block any other similar actions, according to Bloomberg News.

Related: Passengers Furious After Southwest Airlines Leaves Thousands Stranded

Per Bloomberg, the suit said, "Southwest Airlines has issued and implemented an Infectious Disease Control Policy during the COVID-19 pandemic, that significantly altered the working conditions, rules, and rates of pay for pilots." Pilots also noted that while the changes weren't negotiated with the union or employees, they were among the most at-risk groups for contracting the virus as "management employees protected themselves by closing down headquarter offices to work from home and meeting virtually."

The group urged the judge to order Southwest leadership to make every effort to negotiate an agreement with the unionized pilots. Talks about a new contract have stalled in recent months.

In a statement obtained by Bloomberg, Southwest Airlines said negotiations weren't required for any of the pandemic-related changes, which the company characterized as a response to "unpredictable challenges."

"Southwest remains committed to pilots' health and welfare and to working with SWAPA, and our other union partners, as we continue navigating the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic," said vice president for labor relations Russell McCrady.

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Business News

Amazon Is Starting to Let Customers Know What Products Are Returned Often

The e-commerce giant has begun flagging certain items that were frequently sent back.

Business News

'I Don't Feel Like It's Unreasonable': A-List Actor Refused Service At Hotspot For Not Following Dress Code

Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe had quite the afternoon after trying to stop at a Japanese steakhouse in Melbourne, Australia following a game of tennis.

Business News

'You Didn't Even Try': Aldi UK Ripped Online For Accidental NSFW Candy Shape

The marshmallow "Bunnies and Chicks" rolled out to stores just in time for the Easter holiday.

Money & Finance

Everything You Need to Know About Filing Your Taxes 2023

Tax Day is rapidly approaching. Here's everything you need to know before April 18.