Bret Oestreich, National Director
August 8, 2019
Mediation with Southwest Airlines
Yesterday, Wednesday August 7, 2019, AMFA representatives met in Dallas, TX to participate in a pre-scheduled settlement mediation conference with representatives of Southwest Airlines.
This mediation was held after AMFA agreed, at the conclusion of the last round of collective bargaining, to Southwest Airlines (“Company”)’s request to use mediation in an attempt to resolve the three federal lawsuits in federal court. Two of these were filed by Company against AMFA, AMFA Local 11, and numerous union officers, and one was a lawsuit filed by AMFA against the Company. In two of the Company’s lawsuits, AMFA has also filed counterclaims against the Company and a senior executive.
AMFA attended the mediation with seven union officers, legal and costing advocates, in person, with full authority to resolve all claims. AMFA approached the mediation in good faith in hope that the parties could get out of court and move forward. The Company appeared with three representatives in person.
The content of the mediation is confidential, but the outcome is not. No agreement was reached in the mediation. This is not the outcome that AMFA wanted in order to move forward in a positive direction. We hoped that both sides would have dismissed their legal claims and paid their own costs, expectation that was voiced for most of the long years of bargaining. Instead, demands, that in the opinion of your representatives were non-starters, were insisted upon.
All lawsuits are currently stayed, but on September 1, 2019, without a settlement all lawsuits will return to an active status. AMFA regrets that it now has no choice and is obligated to return to court to defend its and your interests.