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Southwest Airlines flight attendants picket for better pay, safer work conditions

Southwest Airlines flight attendants picket for better pay
Southwest Airlines flight attendants picket for better pay 00:23

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Hundreds of off-duty Southwest Airlines flight attendants at Dallas Love Field airport joined thousands across the county picketing for: better pay, safety on the job, and improved quality of life.

The informational picketing at Dallas-based Southwest came as contract negotiations were delayed following a challenging summer for the air travel industry.

In June, hundreds of uniformed Southwest Airlines pilots stood in the heat holding signs blaming Southwest management for delays and cancellations that had upset passengers.

The protest, which the union said drew up to 1,300 pilots, was an example of airline workers trying to put pressure on companies by taking their demands for higher pay directly to the flying public.

At the time of that protest, Casey Murray, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, the union for the airline's 9,000 pilots, said work has turned into a flightmare for pilots because of over-scheduling.

"It's a struggle every day out there. Our fatigue rates reflect that," he said. In the first five months of this year, Southwest pilots reported feeling fatigued at more than triple the rate of a year ago, according to figures from the union, which says this raises safety concerns.

Federal law makes it nearly impossible for airline unions to conduct legal strikes. Contract negotiations tend to drag out — often for years. 

Southwest's flight attendants have been working under an old contract since 2018.

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