Protesters take issue with Southwest Airlines at Metro

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Romulus — Travelers flying Southwest Airlines out of Metro Airport will encounter union protesters near the airline’s ticket counter Tuesday.

Off-duty members of Transport Workers Union Local 555 baggage handlers union will pass out fliers protesting a number of issues, including an increasing work load and no pay raises for four years, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

In a statement on its website, the union said it was concerned about “current management practices” and said that mismanagement has led to frequent delays for passengers and a strain on the airline’s operations.

“The company also is mistreating workers, with no pay raises in four years for most ground workers, despite steadily increasing workloads,” said TWU Local 555 in a press release.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines noted that informational picketing “is a common practice during negotiations and will not impact our operations.”

The airline also stated that “we have always supported, and will continue to support, our employees’ right to express their opinions.”

Metropolitan Airport spokesman Michael Conway said the airport would “remain silent” on the protest.

“We do not comment on comment on labor problems between companies and their unions,” Conway said.

Similar protests will be staged at 15 other airports across the U.S., including those in Buffalo, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Fort Myers and Indianapolis.

More are Los Angeles/Ontario, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Reno, San Diego and Seattle.

Earlier this year, Southwest Airlines announced that it had been named as One of the Best Places to Work in 2015 by Glassdoor, an organization that provides reviews of companies based on reviews by current and previous employees.

It was the sixth straight year that the airline had received that designation. 222-2023