Southwest pilots are suing for damage to wages and conditions

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, the world’s largest low-cost carrier, filed a lawsuit this week against the company, alleging forced shutdowns and further breaches of employment conditions during the Corona plague. According to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Dallas, the airline operated an emergency plan, changed flight schedules and reduced the scope of the pilots’ prescription drugs and pension benefits without negotiating – which is a violation of federal employment laws. It was further alleged that Southwest was supposed to hold a discussion with the workers’ union instead of granting itself “supreme power” rights as air traffic plummeted during the plague.2 View Gallery Info In the crisis year, Southwest led in revenueInfo In the crisis year, Southwest led in revenue Another violation of workers’ rights was, according to the lawsuit, “random and unilateral changes” in policies that require workers to go into isolation if they are exposed to the virus. In the first phase, pilots who had to go into isolation were paid for the hours they missed, but according to the union, Southwest changed that policy in June. The lawsuit is an escalation in growing tensions between the airline and crew in recent months. The pilots’ union threatened to hold a protest rally during the burning winter season to protest against a host of problematic issues, including grueling working hours, food shortages and accommodation arrangements and problematic protocols related to the plague. According to the air crews, in parallel with the recovery in demand last summer, no adjustments were made that would allow for reasonable working hours. 2 View the gallery Southwest Airlines Aircraft Flights FlightsSouthwest Airlines Aircraft Flights FlightsSouthwest Airlines (Photo: AP) Following these threats, the company made changes to its fall schedules, in an attempt to align with crew requirements. In addition, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly announced this week that the airline has hired 1,500 staff and plans to add 5,200 workers by the end of November. The original, which expired last August but was due to remain in force until a new agreement is reached, company vice president Russell McCreedy said in an official statement that the airline does not believe the changes made in recent months following the Corona have necessitated negotiations. Airlines plans to hire 1,500 flight attendants by the summer of 2022, following a recovery in demand for flights, and the Atlanta-based company is already in the process of filling 1,500 flight attendants with candidates whose recruitment was frozen at the start of the epidemic.

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