Southwest Airways Pilots Vote To Authorize Strike

Southwest Airways pilots have simply voted to authorize a strike, making this the fourth pilots union in america to take action in current months. Don’t fear, although, because it’s a close to assure {that a} strike received’t truly occur.

Southwest pilots vote in favor of a strike

Simply over per week in the past, the Southwest Airways Pilots Affiliation (SWAPA), which represents Southwest Airways’ 10,000 pilots+, opened voting for a strike authorization. With this, pilots may vote on whether or not or not they’d wish to see a strike amongst pilots on the airline.

Whereas the vote was speculated to run by means of the tip of Could, voting has closed early, given the overwhelming participation. 98% of pilots have forged votes, and 99% of these pilots have voted in favor of authorizing a strike. This follows three years of “stagnant negotiations” for a brand new contract for pilots (in equity, the primary 18 months of that most likely wasn’t a good time to barter).

Right here’s how SWAPA President Casey Murray describes this vote:

“This can be a historic day, not just for our pilots, however for Southwest Airways. The dearth of management and the unwillingness to handle the failures of our group have led us up to now. Our pilots are uninterested in apologizing to our passengers on behalf of an organization that refuses to put its priorities on its inner and exterior prospects.”

“In the present day, our Pilots have empowered our Negotiating Committee Chair, Captain Jody Reven, to petition the Nationwide Mediation Board to launch us to self-help imminently at which era we are going to comply with the method set forth by the Railway Labor Act and proceed towards a strike. We would like our passengers to know that we don’t take this path calmly and are disheartened that the LUV airline has gotten so far-off from the values set forth by Herb Kelleher. We would like our prospects to be ready for the trail forward and make preparations on different carriers in order that their plans by means of the summer time and fall should not disrupted.”

It’s virtually sure that there received’t truly be a strike, and there most undoubtedly received’t be one within the subsequent couple of months. Simply because pilots voted in favor of a strike authorization doesn’t imply they’ll truly go on strike.

Relatively, Southwest administration and the union representing pilots should comply with the procedures of the Railway Labor Act, which incorporates going to the Nationwide Mediation Board, in hopes of coming to a decision. A strike would solely (ultimately) be permitted if that course of fails. Even then it wouldn’t be imminent, as there would first be a 30-day cooling off interval earlier than a strike may happen.

The fact is that strikes don’t occur typically at airways in america, and we haven’t seen one in over a decade. After all that’s to not say it couldn’t occur sooner or later. Only for context:

Southwest Airways pilots have voted in favor of putting

I can also’t assist however word how the union is happening fairly the tirade in opposition to the corporate on Twitter and different social media platforms. SWAPA even has some ideas on Southwest’s new model movie… hah.

What are Southwest pilots more likely to get?

I’ve written previously about how a lot airline pilots are paid. For context, you may discover Southwest’s present pilot pay scale right here. First officers earn wherever from $84 to $191 per hour, whereas captains earn wherever from $241 to $274 per hour. You may add three zeroes to the tip of the hourly pay scale to determine roughly how a lot airline pilots earn yearly.

Delta pilots lately negotiated an industry-leading contract, which is able to set the benchmark for the {industry}. As of January 1, 2024, Delta Boeing 737 first officers will probably be paid wherever from $113 to $240 per hour, whereas captains will probably be paid wherever from $323 to $352 per hour.

However I think about that Southwest pilots will need much more than that. Why? As a result of Delta pilots have the power to fly bigger plane (with greater pay scales), whereas Southwest solely flies the 737, so the pay scale ought to account for the dearth of bigger plane. For instance, Delta Airbus A350 first officers will probably be paid wherever from $114 to $300 per hour, whereas captains will probably be paid wherever from $402 to $438 per hour.

In some unspecified time in the future it’s important to marvel how sustainable all of those pay scales are. It will disproportionately negatively impression lengthy haul and extremely lengthy haul flights, which require three to 4 pilots. Paying 4 pilots these sorts of quantities on a 15 hour flight may materially alter the economics of some flights. Clearly that doesn’t apply to Southwest, although.

I think about Southwest pilots need a contract that matches Delta

Backside line

Southwest Airways pilots have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike authorization. 98% of pilots forged votes, and 99% of these pilots voted in favor of a strike. At this level a strike authorization simply appears to be customary working process for negotiating a contract, so don’t count on that we’ll truly see a strike (despite the fact that that’s one thing the union is attempting to threaten, presumably in hopes of getting administration to rush up).

What do you make of this strike authorization vote?

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