On February 6, a Southwest flight attendant filed a lawsuit against the Transportation Workers Union (TWU) and Local 556, the union for Southwest’s flight attendants. The lawsuit alleges violations of federal law and the union’s Constitution and By-Laws in connection with an effort to recall several union officers.
According to the complaint, in 2016 more than half of Southwest’s flight attendants signed a petition to recall 12 local union officers, including the President. The petition alleged violations of the union’s Constitution and By-Laws by the named officers. However, instead of verifying the signatures and scheduling a recall vote as required by the union’s own rules, the petition was rejected without a valid explanation, says the flight attendant who led the recall effort. Thereafter, her efforts to seek assistance from the International were also ignored. Twelve of the 17 union officers who considered the petition were subject to the recall effort.
The lawsuit asks the court to certify a class action on behalf of the nearly 8000 Southwest flight attendants who signed the recall petition. The TWU has not yet responded to the lawsuit.