Southwest Employees Picket In Phoenix

February 20, 2014

(Photo by Alexandra Olgin-KJZZ)
Transport Workers Union 555 picketing outside the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix.

Southwest Airlines employees marched outside the Comerica Theatre on Thursday afternoon right before the company's "Message to the Field." This annual meeting is when company CEO Gary Kelly updates employees.

Members of a transport workers union picketed to spur stalled contract negotiations. The employees want pay raises and are fighting the hiring of part time and contracted seasonal employees. Phoenix Southwest ramp agent Dana Provencher has worked for the company for 23 years.

“This is something Southwest needs to see. They need to see unity. They are having a "Message to the Field" where Gary Kelly comes out and talks about how great everything is. It’s just kinda like everything is brushed aside," said Provencher.

Provencher said the employees want a small piece of the profit pie. S

Southwest released a statement saying, “We continue to actively participate in discussions, making every effort to reach agreements with our unions that are rewarding, flexible, and secure.”

The union negotiators are meeting with the company in Atlanta to try to reach an agreement.