Mike Roach- District 7 Rep
Negotiations, Raises for Others, Discipline, and Holiday Overtime
For those of you who voted in the recent election for district 7 representative, thank you for exercising your contractual right. For those of you who did not vote, I recommend that you please get involved and start exercising your rights as a member of this union.
We all need to pay attention to what is going on within the company relating to our jobs. Our jobs are under attack from the New Southwest, especially if you are a topped out employee. If the company can get rid of one full-time agent making $25.97 an hour, with all the benefits that come with being topped out, they can hire three part-time employees and save a lot of money.
Our contract was amendable on June 30, 2011, and as of October 18, 2013, as I am writing this article, there is nothing for you to look at to even think about ratifying a contract. Those of you, who have been employed since the ratification of the contract in 2001, know that the top out pay of $24.00 an hour went into effect on July 1, 2005. I must note here that was before the current CEO of SWA was in that position. Since that date when those employees reached that $24.00 mark, they have received a $1.97 an hour pay increase over 8 and a half years! It is now two and a half years into the current negotiations and the company refuses to come to the table and bargain in good faith. Our negotiating committee has not met with the company in months, and at the time this article is being written, there are no future meetings scheduled. Have your expenses for just the essential things that you spend your money on like utilities, groceries, gas for your vehicle, etc. stayed the same for the last eight years? Now let’s take a look at that current CEO who I mentioned earlier. He was paid a salary of $3.75 million in 2011, not too bad, but hey, he is the CEO. In 2012, his essential bills must have gone up more than yours because he gave himself a raise to $4.25 million. Most of you should be aware of the facts of why the negotiating meetings stopped. The company continued to throw out proposals wanting to take from you and give nothing in return. I am not sure if it is coincidental, but they have decided to severely discipline our members to the extent of termination for minor violations, and in some cases, without any violations. I cannot emphasize enough the need for each of you to work safe. The company has been terminating members for not doing a walk around, accidently driving over a fuel pit, making mistakes in operations and many, many other reasons. I know that in the past Southwest put the main emphasis on flights leaving on time, and some of our members still practice that policy and do everything they can to ensure the flights leave on time. One thing that I have not yet seen, is anyone terminated for taking a delay. The point I am trying to make is to work as safe as possible at all times and make safety the priority over an on time departure. Do a walk around on every flight. Ensure that your paperwork is exact and correct. Do not work a bin by yourself. Do not flag in an aircraft by yourself. Do not load or pull carts that are stacked above the rails. Do not be in such a hurry that the company could twist your haste into being considered an unsafe act. Never perform any duties that you do not feel safe performing.