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Mechanics' Labor Dispute

ElizabethWo
New Arrival

Hopefully, the powers that be will see this post.  I think it's imperative to settle your dispute.  Obviously, it is concerning that the aircraft are not being properly maintained, and that flights are being cancelled as a result.   We have an upcoming trip next week for which we paid a considerable amount of money for events in advance that we cannot recoup if our flight is cancelled.  Please get your act together, before any additional negative press.  We fly Southwest exclusively unless we are traveling abroad, and have for decades.  This leaves a bad taste.

12 REPLIES 12

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

DfDrPepper_23
Active Member

@ElizabethWo 

 

 

I am sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Lately, the last few months the weather has been bad for many travelers. It is a complication process for many employees. However, it will takes for a while and things might go smooth for everyone who rely on employes who works with swa.

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

ElizabethWo
New Arrival

Thank you for your response, but I am not referring to weather disruption, I am referring to the dispute with the mechanics' union.

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

Fredjonesdallas
New Arrival

The union is engaging in an illegal sit down strike and they suck

 

im stuck in the airport for 3 and a half hours so they can extort more money

 

they hate their customers and are using the safety bs as a ruse to hold people hostage

 

if southwest keeps this up they are no better than the other airlines

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

dfwskier
Rising Star

@ElizabethWo wrote:

Hopefully, the powers that be will see this post.  I think it's imperative to settle your dispute.  Obviously, it is concerning that the aircraft are not being properly maintained, and that flights are being cancelled as a result.   We have an upcoming trip next week for which we paid a considerable amount of money for events in advance that we cannot recoup if our flight is cancelled.  Please get your act together, before any additional negative press.  We fly Southwest exclusively unless we are traveling abroad, and have for decades.  This leaves a bad taste.


Actually, the aircraft ARE being properly maintained.. You are running into standard rhetoric used by unions involved in a labor dispute. Planes are not being allowed to fly because mechanics are pulling them out of surface for trivial reasons. For example, one tray table in row 13 is not functioning properly (an actual real example but I am unsure of the row number).

 

Do you really think ANY airline would fly unsafe planes? Do you think theFAA would allow ANY airline to fly unsafe planes? Do you think the flight crew would risk their lives, and the lives of passengers, by flying unsafe planes? Would ANY airline be allowed to exist if it became known that it knew a plane was unsafe and it crashed?

 

Answer: planes are safe despite the inflmatory rhetoric.

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

Flying_Slug
Active Member

dfwskier:

 

There is historical evidence of airlines that did fly unsafe planes as a result of their cutting maintenance costs. For an old example, you could google American Airlines flight 191 (May of 1979). For a more recent example, google Alaska Airlines flight 261 (January of 2000). For a closer-to-home example, I’m sure passengers didn’t enjoy Southwest’s flight 812 on April 1, 2011, and you could also google “Southwest Airlines faces a $12 million government fine due to improper repairs on its aircraft” (July of 2014).

 

At many places (too many places in my opinion), whistle-blowers get punished with truncated careers despite laws supposed to prevent retaliation. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is the world we live in.

 

Yes, it could also be true that some labor disputes may lead to canceling a flight due to (say) a broken tray on seat 13C, but both scenarios can happen at the same time.

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

dfwskier
Rising Star

@Flying_Slug wrote:

dfwskier:

 

There is historical evidence of airlines that did fly unsafe planes as a result of their cutting maintenance costs. For an old example, you could google American Airlines flight 191 (May of 1979). For a more recent example, google Alaska Airlines flight 261 (January of 2000). For a closer-to-home example, I’m sure passengers didn’t enjoy Southwest’s flight 812 on April 1, 2011, and you could also google “Southwest Airlines faces a $12 million government fine due to improper repairs on its aircraft” (July of 2014).

 

At many places (too many places in my opinion), whistle-blowers get punished with truncated careers despite laws supposed to prevent retaliation. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is the world we live in.

 

Yes, it could also be true that some labor disputes may lead to canceling a flight due to (say) a broken tray on seat 13C, but both scenarios can happen at the same time.


I will say it again no airline INTENTIONALLY flies unsafe aircraft.

 

In none of the examples you cited did the airline internationally fly an unsafe aircraft.

 

Let's talk about AA 191. I am intimately familiar with that one. I had flown into O'Hare 30 minutes before it went down. I personally saw that awful plume of black smoke. I paid attention because, at that time, I was at the highest level in the AAdvantage program and was flying AA a lot. American did NOT intentionally fly an unsafe aircraft. Mechanics thought they had found a more efficient way of removing and reattaching an engine pylon. They DID NOT realize their actions were unsafe.

They thought it was a better way. They DID use a method that had not been approved, and should have been before it was used. 

 

AA paid a large price for the accident - dead people, lots of bad press ,lost revenue from people not wanting to fly the airline, and if i remember correctly, the DC10s were removed fro service until the cause of the accident was determined. The mechanics who did the work on the pylon  (union mechanics, I might add) thought what they were doing was safe. They were wrong.

 

So again, Southwest flys safe airplanes. No airline intentionally flies unsafe planes.

 

The stuff you read about unsafe airplanes is union propaganda used in an attempt to get the company to move faster in the contract negotiating process. Nothing more.

 

 

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

Flying_Slug
Active Member

Okay, it seems that I focused on the wrong word, and I'm sorry about that. I see now that your emphasis is on intentional. My emphasis is on knowingly. Semantics?

 

Airlines have knowingly deviated from safe standard procedures (to save a buck) without obtaining prior approval, and that’s what those examples I listed were meant to illustrate. The FAA did determine that Southwest deserved a hefty fine. Did the FAA make a mistake? Was the airline’s rule violation intentional, or was it due to unknowing incompetence? I would prefer the answer to be “neither”.

 

I don’t work for any airline, but I know an airline mechanic well, and frankly I can’t agree that all I hear is nothing more than Union propaganda. So I guess our views are different on this issue, and I'm fine with that.

 

It’s not my intent to slam Southwest uniquely (i.e., this is probably an industry-wide issue). In fact, I like Southwest and fly it often –can’t wait to fly them to Hawaii! Smiley Very Happy

Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

GoddezzOfWar
New Arrival

Now I'm spooked. I need to see my daughter. I'm hoping for settlement of this issue. 

 

Thank you.

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Re: Mechanics' Labor Dispute

Flying_Slug
Active Member

GoddezzOfWar: I’m sorry to hear that you’re spooked.

 

In my exchange with dfwskier, I listed extremely rare cases. I’m confident your next flight(s) with Southwest will be just fine. I expect the same for the two flights I have booked for next month.

 

I hope you get to visit with your daughter as planned. Smiley Very Happy

 

Happy travels,

F_S