We told you who sits on the Interim Hotel Committee in the last issue of The B6 Flyer.

Now, we’d like to tell you a little bit about the committee members themselves: Michael P Annichiarico Jr., Pablo Montero, Amrafel Rodriguez, Jill Harris, and Jose Colon.

TWU IFC Coordinator Carmen Gonzalez-Gannon selected these five representatives from the pool of crewmembers that has gone through union advocacy training. Her evaluation criteria included the desire to serve, level of training, past experience and availability.

Amy (second from left) with other crewmembers in costumes visiting an orphanage in Mexico

There are approximately 5,000 Inflight Crewmembers in our developing Transport Workers Union local, and many of them volunteer to help people in need.

The B6 Flyer caught up with crewmember Amy Buchan Kavelaras, who literally is royalty when it comes to volunteering. When not wearing a JetBlue uniform, Amy periodically dresses up as a Disney princess to lift the spirits of children who are ill, homeless or in other dire circumstances. Read more

Photo Credit: Brendan Moriarty

JetBlue crewmembers and their passengers are safest in the air when flying commercial aircraft that have been maintained and repaired in the United States – not at some low-wage facility in South or Central America.

That’s why the Transport Workers Union is seeking federal legislation to reduce outsourcing by JetBlue, American, and other airlines headquartered in the United States.

“Foreign maintenance facilities do shoddy work all of the time,” TWU Senior Director of Government Affairs Zack Tatz said. “Their workers are not subject to the same regulations, standards or scrutiny that aircraft mechanics here in America work under.”

One possible result of sub-standard mechanical work: toxic exhaust fumes seeping into aircraft cabins, Tatz said.

The TWU is working with members of Congress to draft legislation that would close five loopholes. Because of these loopholes, foreign repair and maintenance facilities, and their employees, do not have to meet these requirements:

  • Drug and alcohol testing of mechanics and technicians
  • Security and criminal background checks for employees
  • FAA certification standards for mechanics and technicians
  • Risk-based safety and security evaluations of facilities
  • Unannounced FAA inspections.

Two other unions have joined the TWU in seeking this legislation: the International Association of Machinists and the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists.

“Right now, there are two safety standards: domestic and foreign,” Tatz said. “This would raise the lower standards at foreign facilities and provide the level of safety we expect in our airspace.”

Such legislation also would raise the cost of outsourcing aircraft mechanical work and encourage companies to keep jobs in the United States.

Nearly 50 percent of maintenance work done by air carriers registered in the United States, including the major airlines, is conducted outside the United States, according to a report that former Homeland Security Department Secretary Tom Ridge compiled last year at the request of the TWU.

Foreign repair stations present risks that domestic ones do not,” the report stated. “These risks are due in part to how laws and regulations are applied. We concluded that the safety and security concerns of commercial aviation are better addressed when the repair and maintenance is done in the United States.”

Two new classes of Inflight Crewmembers have graduated. Wish them well as they start their careers, and give them a helping hand as they rack up the miles.

Transport Workers Union locals have provisions in their contracts, negotiated with their various employers, that enable union representatives to conduct orientation sessions with new hires on company time. In such sessions, union representatives explain contract benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and vacation time; how the union can assist and help defend workers facing unwarranted or unfair discipline; and how to keep informed on union matters by signing up for periodic emails and newsletters.

Our developing TWU local does not yet have that contractual right so spread the word: The official communications outlet of the TWU at JetBlue, including your elected Negotiating Team, is the b6.twu.org website and The B6 Flyer newsletter. There is no official Facebook page and information you receive may not be accurate. If you have questions or need assistance, contact one of the committees at or send a question or comment on the “Contact Us” page.

TWU / JetBlue IFC Committees

Please use the links below to see the members of any committee or to send a message to an individual committee and its members.

Communications Education & Training Grievance Health & Safety Hotel Legislative Professional Standards
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