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Florida workers picket as airline contract disputes continue

Many employers utilize contracts in order for all sides involved to understand what is expected of them. In many cases, contracts may expire and negotiations may begin on whether certain changes to a contract should be made. Contract disputes can occasionally come about, especially if a company has made changes to the way it operates and the employees feel as if other changes need to be made as well.

Employees for Southwest Airlines in Florida and other states across the country have recently been picketing to express their views over their work environment. It was reported that the airline once had the best record for on-time flights, but after adding more destinations, flight times have become increasingly delayed. Many workers feel that these delays are due in part to employees having to take on additional work without extra assistance.

The contract between the workers' union and the airline has been under negotiation for over three years. It was also noted that many of the employees who perform duties such as loading baggage, stocking the plane, giving ground directions and other activities have not had an increase in pay in four years. As a result, these workers are reportedly having their workloads increased due to additional flights, but they are not seeing additional compensation.

Being overworked can pose considerable hazards to Florida employees. Not only may they feel as if they are not gaining adequate compensation, but they could also potentially face higher risks of workplace accidents due to fatigue or feeling rushed to perform duties. Therefore, ending contract disputes may be a top priority for workers who hope to improve their workplace environment, and information on how to effectively work through negotiations may be helpful.

Source: indystar.com, "Southwest Airlines employees protest work conditions, delays", Leisa Richardson, Dec. 16, 2014

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