The Right Money, Spent in All the Wrong Places
First, I would like to start by giving a big congrats to all the local reps who won their elections within their respective stations. Also, congrats to our new TWU Local 555 President Greg Puriski and our new Sec-Treasurer Alfonso Santoyo. I would also like to thank not only the station reps in my district but all the reps across the system who are no longer reps, for whatever reason. It is not a easy job, and I appreciate the dedication everyone has shown.
One thing I would like to go over in this article, in which I have noticed for the last few months has been coming up more and more, is the company disciplining members for being insubordinate, which as you can guess can easily lead to termination. Trust me, I couldn’t stand when a supervisor use to come up to me after I did back-to-back flights in 95 degree weather and tell me to go do a flight that wasn’t at my gate. The best thing to do in that situation is to just go do it and talk about it later, unless you feel your safety is in question. This could happen because maybe you haven’t eaten yet, or you simply need to cool off or get a drink of water. Everyone knows their body better than anyone else does, so be smart and safe.
This is just one example. The reality is if your safety isn’t in question, you are better off doing what they tell you, as much as you think it’s the dumbest thing you have ever heard from a supervisor that probably has no business being a supervisor in the first place. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and move on. It may be the smarter thing to do because I don’t know anyone who would like to go through the long process of trying to get his or her job back. This is meant in no way to scare anyone. I am just putting the reality of what is going on throughout the system and figure I would just relay the message: protect yourselves.
The next thing I would like to go over is the continued hypocrisy of a company that says it needs to cut costs but doesn’t look inwardly at the ridiculous expenditures being doled out across the system. I was flying out one morning in one of my stations and noticed three supervisors and two managers at a gate across from me. I tried to give them the benefit of doubt and assumed there was something not good that they were looking into. But when it was all said done, they were just up their drinking their coffee and watching the agent board the flight. They were up there for about 45 minutes, literally standing there and making jokes. I can honestly say it pissed me off. I mean, really, who do they think they are...when someone is out in the elements doing his or her job and requests more help, but a manager tells him it’s not in the budget? I guess it’s in the budget to have five members of management sit around the gate talking and drinking coffee, not doing a damn thing. I don’t get it. The company continues to create these positions that are not needed, and then say they don’t have the money to give us a fair contract, all the while making record profits.
Speaking of a contract, and I know everyone, including myself, is sick and tired of hearing this, but we have to remain patient with this long, drawn out process that most of us are not used to with Southwest Airlines. The reality is Herb Kelleher is not coming back to save the day. Don’t get me wrong. It would be nice if he did, but I am just being realistic.
Meanwhile, there is too much at stake for us to roll over and give in to their joke of an offer just to get the process over and done with. If it takes another four years to get a fair contract then so be it. I for one don’t want to give up what we have right now, and that’s what the company’s last proposal was - them taking away things we have already fought so hard for. Perhaps by the time this article gets out we will have made some progress in our contract talks. One can only hope.
In closing, please put aside your differences and protect and look out for each other. Try to show respect to everyone. And your station reps, whether they are newly elected or have started another term, need your support to make your station a stronger one, which in turn helps this local to grow in unity. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer with their family and friends.