AMFA sued for second time by Southwest Airlines

©Southwest Airlines at McCarren International Airport

The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) is being sued by Southwest Airlines (Southwest) for what is being claimed as an illegal work slowdown which has seen an average 14 planes per day out of service spiking at a high of 62. This is the second time AMFA has been sued by the airline, the previous case was in February 2017 when it was claimed the union was behind a refusal of mechanics to work overtime, that suit still pending after a new contract agreement was offered and subsequently turned down by union members.

The lawsuit was filed by Southwest in the federal district court in Dallas, Southwest charging that workers are pulling planes out of service for minor mechanical items to gain leverage in contract talks.

Federal law prohibits airline employees from striking or being locked out unless an impasse in negotiations is declared by a federal mediation board, which has yet to happen with the current dispute, though a mediator is trying to get the two sides together. Contract negotiations have been ongoing for the last six years and has resulted in raw feelings on both sides.

Southwest, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is the world’s largest low-cost carrier with a fleet of 754 predominantly Boeing 737 jets, each of which averages six flights per day. As of February this year, the airline carries the most domestic passengers of any U.S airline with 99 national destinations.

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