Southwest baggage handlers picket in St. Louis

Courtesy of Creative Commons
Courtesy of Creative Commons

Southwest Airlines baggage handlers picketed on Tuesday outside of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to call attention to deteriorating contract negotiations and working conditions they say have caused the airline’s on-time performance to suffer.

Members of the Local 555 of the Transport Workers Union protested in St. Louis, joining similar demonstrations in three other cities. The workers say airline management isn’t negotiating in good faith with them and that mismanagement has caused on-time arrivals, long a calling card for the Austin, Texas-based company, to plummet.

Southwest’s on-time performance was 71.9 percent for the 12-month period that ended in October, which put Southwest 10th of 14 carriers listed. More than 82 percent of the airline’s flights arrived on time during the same 12-month period in 2009.

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