Southwest Airlines has just "threatened to fire some of its employees". The reason why is troubling


Absurdly Driven look at the business world with a skeptical eye and a language firmly rooted in the cheek.

His employees seem (relatively) happy. His ads claim his employees are thrilled with joy.

That's why the events of last week in Southwest are weird.

In what some might consider a Trumpian step, the airline declared an "operational emergency".

As part of this statement, a company memo obtained by the Chicago Business Journal states that Southwest insists that all mechanics called to work must show up or, if they do not provide a medical certificate, risk to be fired.

Worse still, the memo even uses the phrase "disease claim" to suggest that some mechanics might not want to work, for example, overtime as part of this emergency.

This does not really sound like the vocabulary of a harmonious relationship between management and mechanics.

What is officially causing this apparent panic?

A southwestern spokeswoman said:

The Southwest Maintenance Organization has issued a call to maximize the number of mechanics available for the job. On an average day, the airline expects 20 aircraft to be out of service unexpectedly for maintenance tasks. Every day this week, the percentage of out-of-service aircraft in our available fleet of approximately 750 aircraft has more than doubled the daily average.

So, an unusual number of Southwest devices is called sick. Indeed, 100 flights were canceled Friday and 39 more Saturday.

Southwest said that there was "no common theme among the reported articles".

The company's aircraft, all Boeing 737s, are under constant pressure. Southwest depends on fast turnaround times and multiple stops.

However, the fact that twice as many aircraft have maintenance issues will worry a lot, including passengers.

Recently, a disturbing report from CBS News suggested that management was pressuring the mechanics of Southwest and American to neglect certain problems in order to keep the aircraft in service.

I've seen people quit work, hanging for a month or longer because they had reported problems that they were not supposed to find.

This report was broadcast just a few weeks ago.

I asked Southwest if there was a relationship between this report and its sudden state of emergency. The airline would not be fired.

Southwest has been negotiating with its mechanics since 2012.

The company continues to insist on the massive compensation of outsourcing abroad and the elimination of your paid rest. The company is demanding these "offsets" without significantly increasing the funds from the Agreement in Principle (TA) that you, the members, have significantly rejected.

The union added a dark thought:

Make no mistake: the company is not engaged in negotiations in good faith.

The fact that Southwest apparently threatens to fire some mechanics can be added to the file entitled: Things that make you go Hmmmm.

The airline, however, insists that it is only customers:

To take care of our customers, we need all the people on the deck to take care of the maintenance items so we can get the aircraft back into service quickly.

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