Southwest Airlines pilots protest 4 years of negotiations

Hundreds of uniformed pilots from the Southwest Airlines Pilots´ Association (SWAPA) lined the streets near the Orleans Hotel & Casino Wednesday in protest of the lack of progress toward a new contract after four years of negotiations.

Southwest Airlines held an employee rally inside the Orleans Arena today to discuss company performance, business plans and future goals.

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.

SWAPA and Southwest Airlines are currently in federal mediation, which allows a government-assigned mediator to assist in talks. The two sides have yet to meet formally in 2016, but are currently scheduled to resume negotiations in late March.

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.