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TWU 557 President's Message on COVID-19

A Discussion of the COVID-19 “Business Effect”

Fellow Instructors,

America is in a crisis. It is a health crisis, whether real or perceived, nevertheless, it is a crisis. American business is also in a crisis as a byproduct of the health crisis. Our Airline is a part of American business and is now, like all airlines, suffering from the virus “Business Effect.” This effect is the lack of public business, in our case, passengers. Passengers create the dollar cash flow that powers our Airline’s economic engine. American business also needs cash flow to work. Where does this leave us as Company employees and individuals?

Our Company, along with other businesses, airlines or otherwise, have entered a crisis mode of operation. Company leadership has no other choice but to look at the “Worst Case Scenario.” At risk is the profit cash cushion that existed prior to the impact and fear of the COVID-19 Virus, as well as, ultimately, the very business existence of the Company. It is now a time problem. We are thankful that our Company is financially the strongest of all the airlines in this fight against the virus and fear.

As individuals, we have no direct control. We must pay attention to our own health and that of our families, by following the recommended anti spread and containment protocols. It is the proper and responsible thing to do.

Short of a total work stoppage and complete social isolation, our Company must continue forward with caution. Much like a pilot assessing fuel remaining, the Company must examine the “Worst Case Scenario.” In other words, how long can we fly before running out of fuel? At the last announced burn rate of $300 Million a month, one can calculate the amount of cash remaining in months. Depending on the options chosen by the Company, many scenarios may play out before declaring “Emergency Fuel.”  Regardless, it could be painful for all of us if the viral impact continues past several months. Right now, time is critical for both how the virus statistically presents itself and how the public will react to it.

At this point, clarity is missing both in the disease and the American business response which negatively impacts the Stock Market. Uncertainty creates fear and fear is driving public perception.

As employees, now is the time to maintain status quo. Continue your duties, look after your health and that of your family, have consideration for your fellow employees, and look to the future. Do not let fear rule your daily duties.

Your TWU 557 Executive Board believes patience is key. Overreaction has no place at the present time, either in Contract negotiations or disparaging discussions with fellow employees. Common sense and precaution are key.

Should the “Worst Case Scenario” happen, Collective Bargaining Agreements will essentially become worthless.  Only time will provide clarity of the “Business Effect” of COVID-19.  We as employees have no control over that time period. Our job is to be patient and vigilant.

This business crisis ultimately will pass. Time will provide clarity for our Nation, our Company, and our fellow employees.

For the Executive Board,


Gerald H. Bradley

President TWU Local 557

Southwest Flight Crew Training Instructors

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