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Southwest's Flight Attendants Accept Pilot's Apology For His Open-Mic Rant

Southwest's Flight Attendants Accept Pilot's Apology For His Open-Mic Rant

One week ago today, the union representing Southwest Airlines' flight attendants threatened to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after it became public that a pilot had taken to the airwaves to broadcast his ... let's say ... dissatisfaction with the quality of the Love Field-based carrier's flight attendants. But today, Argyle's James Taylor, the pilot responsible for the rant, has stepped forward to take his flogging, writing in an e-mail forwarded to all Southwest employees that "I deeply regret the derogatory remarks I made and the hurt I have caused -- I take full responsibility for those comments. It was truly insensitive of me and I would like all of you to know that from now on, I will show nothing but the utmost respect during my interactions with all employees."

Which is why, moments ago, TWU Local 556 President Thom McDaniel dispatched to media an apology-accepted statement that says, in short: Fine, but don't ever let it happen again. And there will be no complaint filed with the EEOC.

Southwest Airlines and the pilot involved in this incident have now apologized to our members. We are prepared to move forward working with our company to ensure that we support a culture where this type of behavior is not acceptable and if it does happen, it is dealt with appropriately.

Disrespect towards co-workers is never acceptable, and must be an immediate concern for any employer. We have recognized that while this incident is not consistent with Southwest culture, it is not an isolated incident and should not be swept under the rug. I am pleased to report that Southwest has engaged with our union and with other employee groups to turn this negative incident into a teachable moment. Our company has committed to work with our union to guarantee respect and fair treatment for all employees, regardless of who we are or what our role is at the airline.

The whole release follows. Now please store your tray table, bring your seat upright and put away all electronic devices. Incidentally, I still don't forgive James Taylor for this.

Statement of TWU Local 556 President Thom McDaniel

Re: Apology from Southwest Pilot


DALLAS - "When insults and slurs towards flight attendants broadcast over air traffic frequencies and were made public, our union spoke out immediately. At Southwest Airlines there is no place for such unprofessional conduct in any workplace - on the ground, or at 30,000 feet."

"Southwest Airlines and the pilot involved in this incident have now apologized to our members. We are prepared to move forward working with our company to ensure that we support a culture where this type of behavior is not acceptable and if it does happen, it is dealt with appropriately."

"Disrespect towards co-workers is never acceptable, and must be an immediate concern for any employer. We have recognized that while this incident is not consistent with Southwest culture, it is not an isolated incident and should not be swept under the rug. I am pleased to report that Southwest has engaged with our union and with other employee groups to turn this negative incident into a teachable moment. Our company has committed to work with our union to guarantee respect and fair treatment for all employees, regardless of who we are or what our role is at the airline."

"From the beginning of this incident, our union has expressed a desire to resolve this issue with our company with the ultimate goal of making sure that all employees are respected and accepted in the workplace and we are on the way to doing that. Our union will not file an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint. We hope we never have to deal with this type of incident again - and we intend to remain vigilant in advocating for a culture of fairness and respect throughout our company. Southwest Airlines and TWU have a history of working together to solve hard problems and we are committed to ensuring that we provide the best possible workplace for our employees and an airline that upholds the principles that our customers deserve. Mistakes have been made and by working together, we will make it better. "


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