The carrier has been in contract negotiations with the union representing the mechanics for more than six years. Members of the Brother Aircraft Mechanics Association, representing 2,700 Southwest workers, rejected a tentative contract agreement in September.
In 2017, Southwest accused the union of encouraging members to refuse to work overtime in order to put pressure on the company during contract negotiations. A lawsuit filed by the airline was suspended in 2018 after the conclusion of an initial agreement.
A statement released Friday on the union's website by national director Bret Oestreich accused the Southwest of creating this emergency.
"This statement … comes just (11) days after a CBS News A report detailing the efforts of the Southwest maintenance department to withstand the coercive pressures to ignore aircraft damage and the FAA's confirmation of the deterioration of Southwest's safety culture. " Southwest operates with the lowest ratio of aircraft technicians from all major carriers. "
Oestreich urged union members "not to be harassed by acts of defiance that will be called insubordination.We must follow the adage" work now, sorrows later. "Work hard, be productive and Let's put these broken planes back into service in a state of navigability. "
He stressed that he was not asking for illegal action at work, which would "further complicate our efforts to reach a fair agreement.We only ask that we be allowed to perform our work according to federal law – nothing moreover, nothing less. "
Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg and the Dallas Morning News have told this story.