Southwest Airlines employees protest for new contract

- At Sky Harbor on Monday morning, dozens of Southwest Airline employees, including pilots, flight attendants and baggage handlers, all came out spreading their message of why they need a new contract.

"What we're doing today is showing our management team and our customer that we're very frustrated with the direction of our company," Michael Broadhead, a flight attendant, said.

Broadhead has been a flight attendant with Southwest for 22 years and says over that time, he's seen changes that he and other employees are not happy about. Picketers say Southwest big wigs, mainly CEO Gary Kelly, have put shareholders ahead of employees during a time of record profits.

"Our hope is that he pays attention, there's a message here and he needs to know that here isn't the same level of feeling that there used to be and we're trying to get that back," Broadhead said.

This picket is the latest attempt to put pressure on the airlines' management by its largest unions to get a new contract, which is something that hasn't been done in four years. The picket also comes on the heels of a massive computer meltdown in July that left thousands stranded for days.

"What happened last week with the technological meltdown, it's a great example of that," Broadhead said. "We don't have the proper infrastructure in place and when things go wrong, it's not good for our customers."

Broadhead said he and the other picketers love working for the airline and they're trying to bring back love to the airline.

"Southwest Airlines employees love their airline and they're trying to get that back," he said. "That's exactly what we're trying to get back."

The demonstration did not affect any Southwest flights at the airport.


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