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Pilots' Union Seeks Ouster Of Southwest CEO After IT Outage

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Pilots' union leaders are asking Southwest to replace CEO Gary Kelly because of the technology outage that caused the airline to cancel or delay thousands of flights in July.

The union says Southwest is spending too much on buying back shares and not enough on updating its technology.

The union said Monday that its board voted 20-0 to ask that Kelly and Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven be removed.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. blamed a faulty router for a July 20 outage that briefly grounded all flights. After getting all of the computer systems "stabilized" workers were swamped trying to get all the displaced passengers to their destinations.

Linda Rutherford, the Vice President of Public Relations and Community Affairs, even came forwrd with word of regret. At the time of the outage she issued am statement that said, in part:

"I want to start off by once again apologizing to our Customers and reiterating that your experience throughout the past 24 hours is not the service you should expect from Southwest Airlines."

Southwest struggled to recover for several more days, with hundreds of cancelled flights and thousands more delayed.

An email seeking comment from the airline was not immediately returned.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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