Even Amid A Global Pandemic and a Call for Unity, Southwest Airlines Continues Suing Its Own Employees

As the entire world faces a crisis unprecedented in modern times, the airline industry is being particularly challenged. Airlines are canceling flights, parking aircraft and pleading with the federal government for bailouts, and Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly has called this time “the fight of our lives.”

However, the expert mechanics at Southwest Airlines, represented by AMFA, continue to be sued by their employer. Back in May, after our latest contract was ratified, we called for unity, and to drop these lawsuits. In September, as Southwest was dealing with serious challenges related to the 737 MAX situation, we again called for unity, dropping our bad faith bargaining lawsuit against the company, with prejudice, and calling on all sides to drop claims and counterclaims immediately. Unfortunately, these calls were ignored, again, by Southwest Airlines.

Now, in the most perilous time our company and our industry has ever faced, we again call on Southwest to join us in dropping all lawsuits — claims and counterclaims — and focus solely on overcoming the massive challenges ahead. It is clearly time to set aside our differences and work together in what Gary Kelly has termed the “fight of our lives.”

While Southwest and other airlines are asking for and awaiting massive economic bailouts, they continue paying lawyers to maintain lawsuits against their own employees. What message does that send to the taxpayers, lawmakers, investors, and the workforce that will be asked to make great sacrifices to save this airline.

Yesterday, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said, “We find ourselves in the greatest challenge of our generation… We are all in this fight together.”

We agree — this is the greatest challenge of our generation. Southwest must drop the lawsuits against its own employees immediately so we can, as Gary Kelly called for, truly be in this fight together.