November 6, 2015
Mr. Gary Kelly
P.O. Box 36611
2702 Love Field Drive
Dallas, TX 75235-1611
Sent via email to: Gary.Kelly@wnco.com
Mr. Mike Ryan
2832 Shorecrest Drive DAL-2MX
Dallas TX 75235-1611
Sent via email to: Mike.Ryan@wnco.com
Dear Mr. Kelly and Mr. Ryan:
As our two negotiating committees prepare to meet later this month in our first mediated negotiation session, it is obvious to me that Southwest Airlines is at a critical crossroads in terms of its labor relations. As you are aware, our contract has passed the 3-year mark of the amendable date and it has been very difficult to make sustained progress in our negotiations. Entering mediated negotiations provides us the opportunity to make meaningful headway towards reaching an agreement; one that is vitally needed as the employees of Southwest Airlines are questioning the direction of the relationships that have always been the cornerstone of Southwest’s success.
We have watched as other labor groups have likewise struggled in their contract negotiations. With the pilots’ rejection of their tentative agreement this week, coming just months after the flight attendants rejected their tentative agreement and the ramp service talks stalled in mediation, I am hopeful that the Company will take this opportunity to reflect on the direction they have set for labor relations and come prepared to get negotiations, and the resulting relationships with labor, back on track.
At our upcoming session our Committee will be coming fully prepared and engaged in the process of working towards an agreement, but we will not wavier from the commitment to our members to passionately advocate for their job and economic security. It will become immediately clear if the Company is interested in resolving the open issues or is going to maintain a posture of concessionary bargaining – I trust it is the former.
You have an opportunity to demonstrate to the AMFA represented Southwest Airlines employees that you are committed to reaching a fair agreement; I hope it is not missed and we can build momentum toward successfully resolving the contract and enthusiastically moving forward.