December 18, 2016
Dear AMFA–SWA Members:
As many of you have already heard, AMFA filed a federal lawsuit on Friday in the District Court in Phoenix against Southwest Airlines. The lawsuit was filed to address the bad faith bargaining tactics employed by Southwest that have resulted in you being unjustly subject to more than four years of pay freezes while Southwest continues to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.
The decision to file this lawsuit was not one made in haste or taken lightly; however, during the course of these protracted negotiations, your Negotiating Committee has been road-blocked by the Company’s unwillingness to compromise and continued take-it-or-leave-it approach. In addition, the lawsuit addresses the Company’s continued assault on you – the members. The Company has chosen, instead of focusing on meaningful negotiations, to devote its resources and time subjecting you with daily propaganda in an attempt to bargain directly with you and degrade your elected Union. The Company’s committee, collectively and individually, even took the unprecedented step of travelling the country during pending negotiations to deal directly with you as opposed to negotiating with your elected representatives.
We heard from many of you regarding your intense displeasure with the Company’s actions. We listened to your demands that your Union do everything it could to put an end to Southwest’s reprehensible conduct. The lawsuit was filed to hold the Company responsible for its actions that have forced you and your families to suffer under these many years of pay freezes. AMFA will devote all resources necessary to lawfully obtain the collective bargaining agreement you deserve for the amazing work you do each and every day to keep Southwest aircraft flying safely. We know how valuable a resource you are to Southwest, and it is about time Southwest opened its eyes and acknowledged that as well. Contrary to Gary Kelly’s view – we are not simply a line item on a balance sheet, we keep this airline flying.
Please take the time to read the factual allegations of the federal court complaint, which detail the Company’s bad faith actions. We will keep you updated frequently on all issues related to these negotiations and the lawsuit. It is important to stay informed, stay engaged and most importantly, stand in solidarity with your union brothers and sisters.
On Behalf of the NEC,