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Labor Relations: Southwest's Current Issues Essay example

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Current Issues
Despite Southwest’s long standing reputation as an employer who makes their employees and customers happy, there have been storms brewing in the company’s labor relations and customer relations sector. As was mentioned before, Southwest recently acquired AirTran Airways and revealed plans to take its already successful domestic business international with flights to Mexico and the Caribbean (Martin, 2014). This organizational restructuring is causing Southwest to have what Time Magazine’s Brad Tuttle calls an “identity crisis” for the airline whose new advertisements have removed the humor they are famous for and the messages of “bags fly free” from commercials. Bob Jordan, a Southwest executive, explained the change as a new era for Southwest and chance for consumers to see them in a brand new light. Some speculate that this “new light” will not be positive for the airline; after all, one of the reasons Americans love Southwest is because it has always differed from other large and impersonal airlines, such as American Airlines and Delta. Southwest has always seemed like the underdog taking on the giant, overpriced competitors; now they seem to have hopped on board with the “big boys” of the airline industry. Another disturbing trend is that studies show Southwest’s fares have risen 39% over the last five years compared to a 10% rise in the rest of the industry, while Southwest still lets bags fly for free. There is some debate if that will be one of the items swept away in the airline’s big restructure. Time will tell if Southwest’s top-notch customer service will still be enough to set them apart from other airlines or if their new, “stiff” image will leave them with shaking heads and deficits on the balance sh...


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Maxon, T. (2014, January 14). Retrieved from The Dallas Morning News: http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/01/union-wants-to-bar-southwest-airlines-from-putting-emergency-restrictions-on-use-of-sick-leave.html/
Maxon, T. (2014, January 16). Southwest Airlines defends making union members prove illness. Retrieved from The Dallas Morning News : http://www.dallasnews.com/business/airline-industry/20140116-southwest-airlines-defends-making-union-members-prove-illness.ece
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://swamedia.com/channels/Corporate-Fact-Sheet/pages/corporate-
fact-sheet
Tuttle, B. (2013, March 26). Southwest Airlines: We're Not Really About Cheap Flights Anymore . Retrieved from TIME Magazine : http://business.time.com/2013/03/26/southwest-airlines-were-not-really-about-cheap-flights-anymore/



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