JetBlue flight attendants vote to join the TWU

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has issued this statement:

More than 5,000 flight attendants employed by JetBlue voted 2,661 to 1,387 to join the Transport Workers Union. The results were released by the National Mediation Board, which oversaw the electronic balloting.

The victory came after a multi-pronged organizing campaign by rank-and-file flight attendants and professional TWU organizers. Nationally, the Transport Workers Union represents more than 140,000 workers in the airline, railroad, mass transit, utilities and service industries.

Our first order of business will be negotiating the flight attendants’ initial contract, Samuelsen said. He noted that the number of working women and men in unions increased last year – for the first time in decades. The JetBlue vote is a strong sign that the upward trend is continuing this year, he said.

The crewmembers want and deserve job security, representation and due process in disciplinary cases, improved wages and benefits, and a seat at the table in case of possible merger or acquisition.

Samuelsen’s full statement:

“Congratulations to the more than 5,000 JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers on their landslide (66% voting yes – 34% voting no) vote for Transport Workers Union representation. JetBlue is an extremely profitable corporation, and now the time has arrived for these frontline workers to be appropriately compensated  for their undeniable contribution in bringing JetBlue this high level of success.”

“This historic victory is yet another example of the tide turning in America as workers collectively fight back to defend their livelihoods. The United States trade union movement is the greatest vehicle for the economic security of working families that this country has ever seen, and more Americans are recognizing this every day.”

“The TWU intends to immediately commence contract bargaining with JetBlue. It is our sincerest wish that the company comes to the table and bargains a fair and just contract with the workers they employ. But if JetBlue refuses to bargain in good faith, this union is prepared to engage in a fightback campaign that will continue until a contract is secured and the Inflight Crewmembers are protected.”

JetBlue Airways issued this statement:

JetBlue has issued the following statement in response to the unionization vote among JetBlue’s 5,000 inflight crewmembers in which the crewmembers who voted elected to have the Transport Workers Union (TWU) represent them:

While we respect the outcome of the election, we are disappointed in this result because we believe the direct relationship is superior to third-party representation. Our crewmembers remain at the heart of the JetBlue experience and we value all they do to provide that experience to our customers. As we move forward, we will work to come together around our mission to inspire humanity that has set JetBlue apart from other airlines since day one.

Once the National Mediation Board authorizes the TWU as the representative body for JetBlue inflight crewmembers, both JetBlue and TWU will organize negotiating committees.