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Southwest Pilots Sue Boeing Over Grounded 737 Max

Union says members are losing of millions of dollars per month
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2019 7:04 PM CDT
A March 2019 image from a video provided by KCAL9/CBSLA shows several Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max planes parked at the airport in Victorville, California.   (KCAL9/CBSLA via AP)

(Newser) – Boeing has been sued by the Southwest Airlines pilots union, accused of hurrying its 737 Max into service while claiming it was safe. The plane was grounded after two fatal crashes. The suit says the grounding is costing the almost 10,000 union pilots millions of dollars a month, the Wall Street Journal reports. The union filing also says its pilots agreed to fly the new model after being told by Boeing that it was largely unchanged from the previous 737, which the Southwest pilots were familiar with. "We have to be able to trust Boeing to truthfully disclose the information we need to safely operate our aircraft," a union statement said. "In the case of the 737 MAX, that absolutely did not happen."

When the 737 Max was grounded in March, the AP reports, Southwest had more of the new planes than any other airline. Thousands of flights, through early January, have been canceled. Boeing expects regulators to clear the plane to return to service by the end of the year, but Southwest said it could be at least another month before the planes are ready and pilots are trained. Boeing said it will defend itself against the suit, while working with the pilots to get the planes back in the air. The suit was filed after negotiations broke down over compensating pilots for lost income, the union president said. (Read more Boeing 737 stories.)

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