Southwest Airlines is offering higher overtime pay to its employees to avoid any flight disruptions due to a shortage of employees during the busy Independence Day holiday travel period.
In addition to offering double overtime pay for flight attendants, Southwest is also offering double pay for ground-operations agents and cargo agents picking up open shifts, according to spokesman Brian Parrish.
The Dallas-based carrier has also offered a similar offer for its pilots who pick up open shifts. However, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association said it failed to reach an agreement saying it was inadequate.
In an internal memo entitled “We Need Your Help This Holiday Travel Week”, Alan Kasher, Southwest’s executive vice president of daily operations, said:
“We have heard from many of you who are frustrated with our network reliability and irregular operations created by summer storms across many parts of the country.
“To address the situation for the short term, we will be incentivizing our Ops Employees during this busy holiday travel week by increasing overtime pay from July 1 through July 7.”
Having previously reduced their workforces last year, when demand for air travel was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S carriers are now facing shortages and rehiring employees as demand for air travel is surging steadily with an increase in vaccination rate and COVID-19 led restrictions ease.