A large gathering of over 1,300 Southwest Airlines pilots protested at the Dallas Love Field airport on Tuesday. The Southwest Airlines and the pilots’ union, Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, have been negotiating a new contract for the past two years, and are saying that they’re overworked and understaffed.
Signs held included the phrases “Our passengers and pilots deserve better” and “Summer of Luv: delayed, rescheduled, cancelled.”
The New York Post reports:
Flight delays and cancellations have been rising in recent months as the airline industry faces a shortage of pilots and cannot meet the increased travel demand with COVID-19 restrictions lifting across the world.
While the whole industry is reeling from the pilot shortage, SWAPA said Southwest Airlines’ poor scheduling practices for pilots has compounded the issue.
The union said its 8,300 members have faced constant reassignments to flights and last-minute scheduling changes as the labor shortage and severe weather disrupt regular flight service. Nearly a third of pilots are being reassigned daily, SWAPA President Capt. Casey Murray said.
Southwest Airlines said that it respected its off-duty pilots and staffers’ right to protest.
“Southwest Airlines respects the rights of our Employees to express their opinions, and we do not anticipate any disruption in service as a result of this single demonstration,” the company said in a statement to the Post. “For 51 years, we’ve maintained a legendary Southwest Culture that honors our valued Employees.”
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U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman, a Trump appointee, says he is ready to decide the merits of Biden’s plan and skip the preliminary injunction and customary trial.
“U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman had been holding a hearing on a request from the small business group Job Creators Network’s legal arm on behalf of two plaintiffs to issue a preliminary injunction blocking Biden from enacting the debt relief until the legality of his executive order was decided” Just The News reports.
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“Having held a hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction and reviewed the related briefing, the Court intends to consolidate as it appears that the Parties have presented their case and no evidence of significance would be forthcoming at trial,” wrote Pittman.
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