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Southwest declares operations 'emergency' amid labor dispute with mechanics

Southwest declares operations 'emergency' amid labor dispute with mechanics

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Old Feb 23, 19, 4:11 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I wonder why negative comments peak every time Southwest has a labor issue.
Because those labor issues lead to very real consequences for passengers?
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Old Feb 23, 19, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ursine1 View Post
Thus, Southwest Airlines' negotiating strategy appears to be pennywise but pound-foolish. The company needs to prioritize protecting its reputation and its business plans -- and that means finalizing a generous contract for its mechanics as soon as possible.
1. Kelly is a first and foremost a bean counter, played hardball in a similar manner with pilots and FA.
2. WN is no longer a low cost carrier, already has some of the highest labor costs of US carriers (https://www.planestats.com/aea9_2018mar is the most recent I was able to find online).
3. WN is under increased pressure from AS on routes it has owned for several years (intra-California and DAL, for example), is setting itself up for a bruising battle to win market share to Hawaii. Not only does AS have much lower cost per asm than WN (see above link), but much of the new service is operated by Skywest, on low cost, customer friendly E175 aircraft.

Combined with the growing FAA scrutiny, it is tough to see how this all ends well - particularly with a recession looming on the horizon.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 6:29 am
  #33  
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Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
2. WN is no longer a low cost carrier, already has some of the highest labor costs of US carriers (https://www.planestats.com/aea9_2018mar is the most recent I was able to find online).
Your link is labor cost, not total factor productivity. The chart below is non-fuel costs. Add in fuel and WN does even better, because 737NGs are better than 319/320s and a whole lot better than E75s. (Alternately, pull CASM right from quarterly earnings releases: 4Q18 Alaska, 12.55 cents; Southwest, 12.10 cents.)

From Alaska's 2018 Investor Day Presentation.



How it ends is with lower profits for shareholders and better wages/benefits/work rules for WN mechanics.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 6:31 am
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I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but apparently things are worse than we've known. VFTW has some insights provided by Kris Van Cleave from CBS News:
Southwest Mechanics are Hamstringing the Airline, and it’s the Culture that May Suffer
Gary's commentary aside, the sharp increase in delays seems to stem not from mechanics calling in sick, but instead being extremely ticky-tacky with every possible safety violation they can find. The two shocking revelations, IMO:

1. 60 planes short per day.
2. WN has data showing the increased delays track to 100 specific mechanics.

Bad things, man. Bad things.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by roundtree View Post
1. 60 planes short per day.
2. WN has data showing the increased delays track to 100 specific mechanics.

Bad things, man. Bad things.
All the "problems" are tied to just 100 mechanics at only 5 of their macitence facilities and the sharp increase of out of service write ups started immediately after the last round of rejected offers to the Union....whereas the remainder of the facilities are maintaining normal and typical maintenance schedules. WN has the hard data to show that direct correlation.

The unions are playing games and WN is filing lawsuits for illegal labor practices. While the Union may claim "safety and doing their job per FAA regulations"...I can tell you as both a pilot and aircraft owner myself it is a very subjective area and if you look hard enough you can find something on almost any aircraft to make a claim for grounding vs getting it resolved ASAP. Not all maintenance issues affect the airworthiness of an aircraft, but some are leveraging those write-ups to sabotage WN's operations as much as possible.

The games are sickening and I hope WN prevails.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 11:41 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by PAX62 View Post
The unions are playing games and WN is filing lawsuits for illegal labor practices. While the Union may claim "safety and doing their job per FAA regulations"...I can tell you as both a pilot and aircraft owner myself it is a very subjective area and if you look hard enough you can find something on almost any aircraft to make a claim for grounding vs getting it resolved ASAP. Not all maintenance issues affect the airworthiness of an aircraft, but some are leveraging those write-ups to sabotage WN's operations as much as possible.
"Work to rules" actions are not new in the airline industry, taken by AA pilots more than 10 years ago, part of the process that forced the carrier in to Chapter 11, hostile takeover by US Air https://www.deseretnews.com/article/...sruptions.html
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Old Feb 24, 19, 12:45 pm
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10+ years without a new contract, 6+ years in "negotiations", the lowest ratio of mechanics per plane of any major carrier, only 2,500 employees out of 50,000+, causing major disruption, loss of revenue and the threat to permanently further damage WNs reputation.

A reversal of Herb's "employees first" philosophy.

Sorry, management is completely mishandling the situation.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by PAX62 View Post
All the "problems" are tied to just 100 mechanics at only 5 of their macitence facilities and the sharp increase of out of service write ups started immediately after the last round of rejected offers to the Union
That's the airline's claim. Mechanics offer "hard data" that SWA rejects offers to work overtime to clear the backlog. There's no winner here.

200 flights cancelled today. Flying 95% may be the new normal.

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Old Feb 24, 19, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by drooley View Post
Has anyone here had a personal experience with delayed flights or cancellations this week?
FWIW, I was on 5 different flights in/out of 4 different (CA) airports this week and had zero issues.
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Old Feb 24, 19, 7:09 pm
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Originally Posted by kennycrudup View Post
FWIW, I was on 5 different flights in/out of 4 different (CA) airports this week and had zero issues.
WN has been using somewhat questionable weather cancellations in the NE and Midwest to free up planes to fly the rest of the schedule...
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Old Feb 24, 19, 9:48 pm
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My flight tonight was held before boarding to “fix a light in the cabin.” Brings back memories of AA during a labor dispute — they would board the plane, shut the door, then announce that the capitan was “checking the weight and balance calculations .” 15 minutes later we would pushback and depart late.
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Old Feb 27, 19, 4:36 pm
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At DCA, waiting for my 9:25p to ATL to be cancelled. FlightAware has been showing this all day (delayed to midnight), Southwest saying it’s on time

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Old Feb 27, 19, 5:10 pm
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Here we go, was 10:15p a few minutes ago

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Old Feb 27, 19, 5:21 pm
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Southwest adding 20 additional minutes of delay every 10 minutes, yet FlightAware knew this over 12 hours ago?

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Old Feb 27, 19, 5:30 pm
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