Southwest Airlines pilots protest lack of progress on new contract

  • There’s a shortage of pilots at many airlines, and pilot unions are demanding higher pay in contract negotiations.
  • On Tuesday, hundreds of uniformed Southwest Airlines pilots picketed at the Dallas airport to protest the lack of progress on a new contract.
  • The picketing is taking place as airline unions seek sizable wage increases.

DALLAS – Hundreds of uniformed Southwest Airlines pilots stood in perfect lines in the scorching Texas sun at Dallas Love Field on Tuesday, holding signs that blamed Southwest management for delays and cancellations that have upset passengers.

Every once in a while, a motorist would honk or yell encouragement. Most passengers made a beeline for the security checkpoint inside the terminal.

The protest, which the union said drew up to 1,300 pilots, was the latest example of airline workers trying to put pressure on companies by taking their demands for higher pay directly to the flying public.

Federal law makes it nearly impossible for airline unions to conduct legal strikes. Contract negotiations tend to drag out – often for years. Southwest’s flight attendants have been working under an old contract since 2018.

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