Southwest Airlines Bracing for Pilots Strike: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

They're at a stalemate with the airline over the pilot scheduling system. It could lead to a strike if an agreement is not met.

southwest airlines plane
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If left unresolved, a stalemate in negotiations between Southwest pilots and the airline could lead to a rare strike. To help you understand what is going on and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly-experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest...

Southwest Airlines is bracing for a possible strike by its pilots after years of contract negotiations failed to produce an agreement. The pilots’ union, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, has asked to be released from mediation, over Southwest’s objections, and is now awaiting an official ruling on its request from the National Mediation Board. Union members voted almost unanimously in May to authorize a possible strike, with roughly 98% of pilots participating.

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Sean Lengell
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

Sean Lengell covers Congress and government policy for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in January 2017 he served as a congressional reporter for eight years with the Washington Examiner and the Washington Times. He previously covered local news for the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. A native of northern Illinois who spent much of his youth in St. Petersburg, Fla., he holds a bachelor's degree in English from Marquette University.