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Labor tensions fade at Southwest Airlines but rise at American Airlines

By Adam Levine-Weinberg, for The Motley Fool

Jun 05, 2019

While labor tensions have cooled at Southwest, similar issues are now cropping up at American Airlines. In all likelihood, American will have a much tougher time achieving labor peace than its rival.

In mid-February, Southwest saw an unusual surge in maintenance issues, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations each day. The carrier quickly concluded that mechanics in certain cities were engaging in a deliberate work slowdown to gain leverage in ongoing contract negotiations.

Recent developments at American Airlines have been remarkably similar to what transpired at Southwest earlier this year. The airline says that it had to cancel 644 flights and delay 270 others by at least two hours between Feb. 4 and May 13 due to a spike in maintenance write-ups. American also noted that mechanics have suddenly started refusing overtime, making it hard to address maintenance issues.

American is responding in much the same way as Southwest did a few months ago. On May 20, it filed a lawsuit against the two unions that represent its mechanics, asking a federal judge to force them to end the alleged slowdown.

Read the full story, "Labor tensions fade at Southwest Airlines but rise at American Airlines," at www.fool.com.

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