Hundreds of uniformed pilots from the Southwest Airlines Pilots´ Association (SWAPA) lined up at Southwest Airlines headquarters and near the entrance to Love Field Airport on 3 February in protest of the lack of progress made toward a new contract after nearly four years of negotiations.
The pilot contract became amendable September 1, 2012 and negotiations began six months prior to that. Eighty-five percent of domestic travel is completed by four major domestic carriers, including Southwest Airlines.
Of that domestic travel, 25 percent is flown by a Southwest Airlines pilot. The pilots believe they should have a contract that is commensurate with their peers given the domestic landscape and current economic climate of the airline.
SWAPA and Southwest Airlines are currently in federal mediation, which allows a government-assigned mediator to assist in talks. While the two sides have yet to meet formally in 2016, SWAPA hopes to return to the table as soon as possible in order to finalize a new contract.
Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots´ Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 8,300 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety.