Author Topic: Southwest declares operations 'emergency' amid labor dispute with mechanics  (Read 2157 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1567

Southwest Airlines has had to remove an unusually high number of aircraft from service at the last minute this week, forcing the airline to declare an "operational emergency'' in a strongly worded memo to mechanics Friday.The airline, which has been in prolonged and often contentious contract talks with its mechanics, ordered all hands on deck to get the planes back in the air. Mechanics who call in sick while the emergency status is in place will need a detailed doctor's note upon return, the memo says. Without it, they are subject to firing. Vacation requests and shift trades are also on hold unless already approved.

"This is not the type of communication I (or any leader) want to issue, but it is necessary to get our aircraft back in service in order to serve our customers,'' the memo from Lonnie Warren, senior director of technical operations, said.

The situation is not as ominous as it sounds for travelers – the airline plans for about 20 planes a day to be unexpectedly taken out of service, so a doubling would take that to 40 planes out of 750 in its fleet. So far, there have not been widespread flight cancellations as the long holiday weekend and February school vacations begin.