FAA seeks a truce in dispute between Southwest and key union

DALLAS (AP) — A high-ranking federal regulator is telling Southwest Airlines and its mechanics union that their bitter fight could hurt the airline’s safety program.

The Federal Aviation Administration‘s top safety official sent a terse letter Friday, saying both sides have a safety responsibility.
Ali Bahrami says a breakdown in the relationship between the airline and the union raises concern about the effectiveness of Southwest’s safety-management system. He’s urging both sides to cooperate.

The dispute appears to be escalating, however. The top official at the union, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, says the union filed a defamation lawsuit against Southwest.

Last week, the airline sued the union and six representatives over what it claims is an illegal work slowdown aimed at pressuring Southwest during contract negotiations.

By Associated Press