Southwest Airlines union calls out working conditions amid flight disruptions

ORLANDO, Fla. — The union for Southwest’s ground workers released a statement Wednesday, saying what the airline is demanding of ground crews is unreasonable.


Transport Workers Union Local 55 said workers are under a lot of stress, overworked and not supported, and need more support during situations like this.

Union president Randy Barnes said many employees worked 16 to 18 hours and got frostbite in some of the colder parts of the country to meet demand.

READ: Stuck at the airport? Here are your rights as a passenger

It’s had a ripple effect in places like Denver, impacting Central Florida workers, Barnes said.

“If something happens in a main hub city it will impact an outpost and Orlando is one of those outpost cities,” he said.

READ: ‘We just have the clothes on our back’: Some passengers face being stranded another week at OIA

Southwest Airlines declined to comment, but pointed to a video of CEO Bob Jordan tweeted Tuesday where he admitted things aren’t perfect.

Jordan said the hope is for things to go back to normal as early as next week, issuing refunds to customers impacted. Watch his statement in the tweet below:

READ: Southwest system meltdown that stranded passengers won’t be the last, industry expert says

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.