Southwest Airlines pilots union, SWAPA, are suing the company for failing to bargain with the union before making changes to pay and work conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Southwest has been forced to respond to “unpredictable challenges” during the pandemic, said Russell McCrady, the airline’s vice president of labor relations
The union says any changes that affect pay or working conditions must be negotiated, but that Southwest has made unilateral changes even while the two sides are at the bargaining table.
Pilots said they put themselves at risk of exposure by nature of their job. They are confined to small cockpits for hours during a flight and walk through crowded airport terminals and hotels.
The pilots’ union is considering airing its grievances by picketing at airports later this year.
The two sides began negotiating over a new contract in January 2020.