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Southwest Airlines and mechanics' contract dispute continues


Businesses in Louisiana aren't the only ones that have to contend with labor issues. These types of problems can be common throughout the country, especially when labor is organized by unions. No one is denying that workers should be entitled to the rights they deserve, including workplace safety and benefits such as health care and benefit leave, but sometimes these issues can become contentious as employment contracts are being worked out.

According to a recent article, Southwest Airlines, one of the top airlines in the country, is facing a contract dispute with their mechanics. The reports indicate that the mechanics, who are represented by a union, have filed a lawsuit stating that Southwest Airlines has committed a variety of legal violations during the protracted negotiations between the two sides -- negotiations that have reportedly been ongoing for over four years. Most importantly -- and perhaps most damaging to any potential negotiations -- the lawsuit alleges that Southwest Airlines has been negotiating "in bad faith."

For those who don't know, allegations of negotiating in bad faith can ruin the potential for future business contracts between two sides that are engaged in any type of negotiations, but especially negotiations between employees and employers. Business relationships are built on trust, as well as faith that each side will hold up their end of the bargain.

For Southwest Airlines and their mechanics, it remains to be seen how this contract dispute will play out. The situation provides an unfortunate example of what can happen when companies don't take the right approach to a contract dispute.

Source: bizjournals.com, "Southwest Airlines mechanics file lawsuit alleging improper contract negotiation tactics," Lewis Lazare, Dec. 19, 2016

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