Airport workers on strike

September 27, 2022
Head of airplane visible from airport window with three people standing nearby.

I’ve never seen flight attendants so disheartened. They feel like they’ve given and given, and the company isn’t giving back to them.

Lynn Montgomery, who was a flight attendant for 30 years and is the president of TWU Local 556, representing 18,000 Southwest flight attendants. Flight attendants and airport workers are expected to strike at more than 20 airports today.

Why It Matters: Airports have seen increased cancellations and delayed flights as airlines struggle to rebound from the pandemic. Flight attendants and airport workers across the nation are on strike today to push for increased wages, increased staffing levels, and better rescheduling for workers when flights are canceled or delayed.

  • The strikes are not expected to disrupt air travel.
  • Scott Pejas, a United Airlines flight attendant and president of his local chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants said, “We are mentally and physically exhausted, because instead of getting rest, we’re on hold, on the phone, trying to find out where we’re going to spend the night or layover. Flight attendants will land somewhere at 10 p.m. and have to wait until 1 a.m. on the phone to find out where they’re going to sleep. We’re not getting rest.”
  • A spokesperson from Southwest Airlines — which will have many employees on strike — said: “Informational picketing is common during contract negotiations, and we do not anticipate any disruption in service resulting from the demonstration planned by off-duty flight attendants.”
  • Something to Consider: The transportation sector recently made headlines for an averted rail worker strike that resulted in increased wages.

Worker protests at airports spread nationwide over staffing and pay (The Washington Post)

Striking San Francisco airport workers to travelers: Bring your own food (CBS News)

The State of Flying (SmartHER News, July 2022)

by Jenna Lee,