On April 16, the TWU sent the following letter to Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly. Click here for a PDF version.
I’ve been informed that last week Southwest requested that the Transport Workers Union (TWU) represented Locals, 550, 555, 556 and 557 open and/or negotiate concessions into our members’ contracts. While we certainly understand that Southwest management wants to explore how the company moves forward, the TWU has no interest in regressing from our current negotiated contracts. We have no interest in concessions. We have fought for years to improve our members’ livelihoods and we will robustly continue to do so.
If the company is interested in discussing a seniority based voluntary early out, a paid leave program, or other non concessionary options, which present our members with voluntary opportunities – we are certainly willing to listen. We believe the long term savings from these types of voluntary actions can easily exceed the cost savings you recently proposed. Furthermore, the grant money Southwest Airlines is receiving from the CARES Act now provides you with the necessary time to rethink your ill-advised proffer of contract concessions. On balance, we believe Southwest Airlines is the best positioned and most financially viable airline in the United States and to make a concessionary demand of the TWU is totally unwarranted.
The Transport Workers Union of America, and our Local union leaders at Southwest, stand ready to discuss our proposed non concessionary solutions. Let us know if you want to pursue that conversation.
cc: Larry Merchant Charles Cerf
Lyn Montgomery Jerry Bradley