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Off-Duty Southwest Airlines Pilots Protest ‘Summer of Luv: Delayed, Rescheduled, Cancelled’

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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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Economy

Chevron downsizes global San Fran headquarters, paying for employees to move to Texas office

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Oil giant Chevron made a huge announcement saying it will be closing its current global headquarters in San Ramon, California. Even more telling, its encouraging employees to move to Houston, Texas.

The San Francisco Gate reported “the oil company will cover relocation costs for those voluntarily leaving for the Texas office, which has been growing and employs nearly 6,000 people. Meanwhile, the San Ramon office buildings have experienced dwindling numbers in recent years.”

Although the company is not leaving the state completely, “company leadership has pushed for a permanent move to Texas in the past” adds SFGATE. Chevron, which has had “deep roots” in California going back to the late 1800s, will vacate its 100-acre campus in 2023.

The Wall Street Journal reports the business hopes to move into a smaller space in San Ramon, which will remain its headquarters. A company spokesperson told SFGATE “the current real estate market provides the opportunity to right-size our office space to meet the requirements of our headquarters-based employee population.”

“The move is expected to occur during the third quarter of 2023” they continued. “Chevron will remain headquartered in California, where the company has a 140-year history and operations and partnerships throughout the state.”

The SFGATE notes Chevron is one of “the East Bay’s legacy companies joining the trend” to move their headquarters out of the area in recent years. Tech companies such as startups like Coinbase to industry pioneers like Hewlett Packard and Oracle have all vacated, with Elon Musk having been “one particularly outspoken voice decrying California’s business conditions.”

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