Congressmen Ellzey and Allred Release Joint Statement After Meeting with Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and Transport Workers Union
Waxahachie, TX – Congressman Jake Ellzey (R-TX-06), a former Southwest Airlines pilot Congressman Colin Allred (D-TX-32), released the following joint statement after meeting yesterday with the presidents of three unions representing workers with Southwest Airlines. This included the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, Transport Workers Union 556 and Transport Workers Union 555, as well as other members of the Texas Congressional delegation.
“There has always been strong bipartisan support in Congress for the growth of Southwest Airlines not just because it generates such a huge economic impact for our region, but also because of its storied history as the people’s airline and the legacy of Herb Kelleher.
“However, it is clear that for some time Southwest has run unacceptable risks and tried to get by with an unacceptably thin margin of error — both in staffing and in technology and that this crisis was both predictable and preventable.
“The payment of hundreds of millions in dividends to shareholders and a healthy profit through the first three quarters of this year clearly show that Southwest can afford to address the issues at hand but has chosen not to.
“While businesses should strive to maximize profits, it should never be at the expense of their customers. Through mismanagement, failed infrastructure and poor planning Southwest neglected the people who keep them in business. Leaving thousands of Americans stranded over the holiday season is unacceptable.
“Southwest must keep their promise to compensate the thousands of passengers who were impacted by this preventable crisis and to implement the necessary reforms to make sure this never happens again.”