May 4, 2016
Dear SWA AMFA Members:
As you know, we are currently engaged in collective bargaining with Southwest Airlines (SWA) pursuant to section 6 of the Railway Labor Act. During the collective bargaining process, the parties are required to refrain from “self help” until we have been released from mediation and a thirty-day cooling off period has expired.
Federal courts have broadly defined “self help” to include not just strikes and lockouts, but a wide spectrum of job actions designed to place economic pressure on the carrier, including overtime boycotts.
SWA has brought to our attention the publication of a flyer entitled Family Week, which encourages AMFA-represented SWA employees, on a system-wide basis, to spend more time with their families and commensurately decrease their work week to forty hours or less. SWA has taken the position that dissemination of the Family Week flyer constitutes a violation of the section 6 of the RLA. Such RLA violations may subject both AMFA and the responsible individuals to litigation culminating in court orders to refrain from such activity. Any subsequent violations of such courts orders may subject AMFA and the responsible individuals to substantial economic sanctions.
Please know that AMFA did not originate the Family Week flyer, and we consider its dissemination to be contrary to the best interests of the Association. AMFA members are requested to refrain from participation in any collective effort to withhold services from the Company at this juncture. When the time to lawfully strike or engage in other concerted self help arrives, we will engage the full strategic resources of the Association.
On Behalf of the NEC,
Please click here to view the letter received from Southwest Airlines.