The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) is taking its first official step toward a strike by opening a Regional Strike Center in Dallas, Texas.
- In preparation for release from federal mediation by the National Mediation Board, SWAPA is opening the Center to create a local place for pilot volunteers to watch and monitor the coming and going of both pilots and planes in the event of a strike.
- This is the first time in Southwest Airlines history that a workgroup has gotten this far in the process of a strike.
- SWAPA will open the strike headquarters to prove its operational capability and readiness.
“The Regional Strike Centers are being opened because our pilots have shown that they are ready to take the RLA process all the way to its conclusion. While none of us wants to go on strike, we are preparing for that path because Southwest simply has not shown that it is willing to invest the time, energy, and money into creating a better experience for us nor our customers,” said Captain Casey Murray, SWAPA President.
“As our negotiations linger and the holiday travel season approaches, we have to be prepared for a strike and that’s exactly what we are doing with the opening of these Centers.”
SWAPA filed for federal mediation in September 2022 and has been meeting with the mediators and Southwest Airlines weekly for months without getting much movement on their contract.
“It is unfortunate that we have come to this place, but Southwest Airlines has to recognize the value of its employees and get back to taking care of them so that they will take care of the customer,” said Murray.
“These Centers are just another step in the process and a physical example of how far our pilots are willing to go to ensure that Southwest Airlines rights the ship.”