How I spoke out after Southwest took my union, my health care, and my job security
Airport workers who assist passengers with disabilities, clean cabins, and secure safety checkpoints like me—we are the ones who make our airports run smoothly. We helped Southwest bring in its $2.5 billion in profit last year, but Southwest turned around and took away our union and all of the hard-earned benefits that came with it.
That’s why I took my concerns straight to the Southwest Airlines shareholder meeting with other airport workers from the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver airports. We are telling Southwest CEO Gary Kelly that #PovertyDoesntFly.
I work at Los Angeles International Airport, for a company called S.A.S. Services doing security work. I monitor ACAM security, do crowd control, and other tasks to help secure the airport for the safety of everyone, both passengers and workers.
I had a union job at LAX for the past 13 years until Southwest Airlines switched our work to an irresponsible, non-union contractor. When Southwest switched us to S.A.S. I saw the difference immediately. I lost most of my health insurance. This has had a big impact on my ability to afford my prescription eye glasses, which I need to monitor security cameras.
My work hours have been reduced. I lost all of my seniority that I worked so hard for. Most important to me, I don’t have any job security. Despite my years of experience, I feel like on any given day I can be fired for anything.
Southwest needs to live up to the friendly public image it puts out there. Every single worker who makes their billions should have a living wage, health care, and a union—no exceptions. It doesn’t matter what language we speak or where we come from – if we work hard, we should be able to put food on the table, go to the doctor, keep the lights on, and spend time with our kids.