South West Drivers join Americans in voting to strike, United could be next

South West Drivers join Americans in voting to strike, United could be next

Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP (Getty Images)

Earlier this month, American Airlines pilots voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike. They cited pay and hours as major issues facing the industry, the kind of quality of life issues that make working undesirable to new faces. It seems that American’s pilots were right, because their Southwest counterparts have now signed a similar strike pledge—and united maybe not far behind.

Southwest’s strike vote passed by an even higher margin than the Americans, incredibly. A whopping 98 percent of pilots participated in the vote, and 99% of those participants voted out. Union President Casey Murray, in a strike vote statement, said: “Lack of leadership and an unwillingness to address the failings of our organization have gotten us to this point. Our pilots are tired of apologizing to our passengers on behalf of a company that refuses to put its priorities on its internal and external customers.

United Airlines could be next, based on their bargaining and picketing. United’s union has been pushing management to limit how often pilots can be called in on their days offa discussion seemingly so heated that it puts finances and wages on the backburner.

Of course, hitting in the air world is never easy. Pilots are bound by rules similar to those of railroad workers, whose strike push last year was stifled by the Biden Aadministration forcing an agreement between management and unions. This deal did not include union-desired staffing, sick leave, or safety concessions, which likely has nothing to do with the horrific series of derailments and accidents that we have seen in recent months.

Your summer travel plans are unlikely to be interrupted by a strike, but the pilots’ unions are pushing for them anyway. If it makes our skies safer than our railroads, I’m all for it.


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