Southwest Airways has warned greater than 6,800 workers of potential layoffs because it reported “lower than significant progress” in negotiations with a number of of its workers’ unions.
The warnings, a requirement underneath the Employee Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, mentioned Southwest would implement involuntary furloughs in mid-March or early April until the unions permitted the agreements, which embody momentary pay cuts to save lots of prices, or until additional federal payroll assist support is permitted. The staff included 1,500 flight attendants, greater than 1,200 pilots, practically 1,200 customer support brokers and greater than 2,500 ramp, provisioning, operations and cargo brokers.
“We have now been engaged with our unions since early October searching for momentary price reductions to assist offset over $1 billion of overstaffing prices projected for 2021,” Southwest VP of labor relations Russell McCrady mentioned in a press release. “We’re keen to proceed negotiations shortly to protect jobs if we are able to obtain the assist that enables Southwest to fight the continued financial challenges created by the decline in demand for air journey.”
A few of Southwest’s rivals, together with United Airways and American Airways, have already got undergone workforce reductions amid the Covid-19 pandemic, however Southwest lengthy has boasted of getting by no means carried out involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its historical past. Southwest Airways Pilots Affiliation president Jon Weaks within the video message referred to as the WARN notices a “unhappy milestone” within the airline’s historical past.
“[The pilot’s union] has provided a number of options that fulfill [Southwest CEO Gary] Kelly’s demand for financial savings, however labor relations has rejected every of them,” Weaks mentioned. “Our negotiating committee stays engaged in providing data-driven options to the corporate’s very short-term issues and choices that shield all of our pilots’ careers.”
Southwest has reached agreements with its dispatch and meteorology workgroups that embody furlough protections via the tip of 2021, in accordance with the service.