The founder of Southwest Airlines has returned to the fold at
the company's request, hoping to break a two-year old logjam in
contract negotiations with its flight attendants.
Kelleher will step in for his own replacement, Southwest CEO
James Parker. The Dallas Morning News says Parker told his
employees that negotiations with the Transport Workers Union "have
become very personal and, therefore, have gotten off track." By
stepping back from the bargaining table, Parker said he hoped
"allow us to restore the civility and mutual respect" to the
Last week, the union let Parker know how displeased its members
were when they heard Parker himself got an 8.3 percent raise. The
company's only offering flight attendance less than three percent a
Local 556 President Thom McDaniel says it's nothing personal --
just business. "We don't believe this has ever been a personal
battle with Jim Parker, and it won't become a personal battle with
the legacy of Herb Kelleher."