A number of Southwest Airlines flight attendants picketed at Orlando International Airport on Monday morning, asking for better pay and quality of life.
- Union, Southwest officials to have discussions about contracts
- Union workers plan to picket in other cities later this month, September
The picketers, all Southwest flight attendants, plan to switch off throughout the day. About a dozen at a time stood outside the airport near the Southwest check-in area, chanting protest slogans.
They say they don't feel as though their quality of life is taken into account. When the airline's computer system suffered an outage about a month ago, flight attendants at OIA say they were stranded at other locations just like passengers, but the company didn't help them get hotels arranged. The picketing workers would like more accountability and are also seeking raises.
Workers say some employees have not received raises since 2012.
The flight attendants, members of Transport Workers Union Local 556, are picketing on their own time, they say, so it should not cause delays or interference with Southwest customers.
According to their website, union officials were scheduled to speak with airline representatives Monday to continue discussions, such as pay, contract violations and operational failures.
The airline company issued a statement to the media about the picketing.
“Southwest Airlines is aware that some of our flight attendants might participate in informational picketing today. Informational picketing is not uncommon during times of negotiations, and we respect the flight attendants’ freedom to conduct such events. We have always supported, and will continue to support, the right of our Employees to express their opinions,” Southwest Airlines stated.
Union members are planning to picket various airports throughout the country later this month and September.
Orlando International Airport was already the site of travel woes as Delta Air Lines has experienced severe delays Monday morning.