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Contributor Archive - Travel Features 2022

Source: Nick Ut / Getty

Flight attendants for Southwest Airlines gathered outside of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Tuesday morning calling for a new union contract.

According to reports, the employees are members of TWU Local 556 and the union of Southwest Airlines flight attendants has more than 18,000 workers.

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They are demanding better pay, safety on the job and improved quality of life through a new contract. Those protesting are currently off-duty but in uniform, held picket signs, and chanted for change alongside supporters.

The union’s collective bargaining agreement with the company became amendable almost four years ago, but according to the union, the airline has made “an overwhelming number of delays” in updating the agreement.

Some of their demands include pay for all time worked, control over personal schedules and access to food, and a safe place to rest when traveling on the job. The union also said a lack of hot food and sometimes hotel rooms leave workers undernourished and, allegedly, sleeping on the airport floor.

Additionally, the union is also calling on the airline to provide benefits like health insurance that continues coverage when someone is injured on the job, is battling cancer, or had a baby.

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