Ground crews to picket Southwest Airlines

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PHOENIX -- Southwest Airlines ground crews plan to begin informational pickets at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Friday as they push for a resolution to stalled contract talks.

Members of the Transport Workers Union also plan to put up pickets at airports in Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Seattle. The union represents 7,200 ramp, operations, provisioning and freight agents.

The union says its members are dealing with rising expenses and some haven't had a raise since 2005. Negotiations on a new contract began in January but broke down in October.

Union negotiating committee member Patti Adams says the airline and union are set to meet with a federal mediator beginning on Monday.

A call to Southwest seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

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