from NY Daily News
The push to unionize nearly 5,000 JetBlue flight attendants took off Tuesday.
Flight attendants voted 2,661 to 1,387 in favor of joining the Transport Workers Union, according to the National Mediation Board, which oversaw the electronic balloting.
The union headed by John Samuelsen pressed hard to organize the airline staffers.
The no-frills airline opposed the idea.
“TWU is an opportunistic and negative third party,” flyers to staff from the airline said.
JetBlue flight attendants voted to unionize on Tuesday.
JetBlue flight attendants voted to unionize on Tuesday. (Courtesy of TWU)
But workers rejected that argument.
Before the vote, some pointed out that they hoped the union would negotiate a set disciplinary process that would block bosses from punishing flight attendants without proof or reason.
JetBlue angered staffers after the airline began to offer flyers $25 for turning in flight attendants who used their cell phones during a flight or violated another company regulation.
In total, the TWU represents more than 140,000 workers in the airline, railroad, mass transit, utilities and service industries throughout the country.
American Airlines pilots joined TWU workers from JFK and LaGuardia airports during a protest in Manhattan in October 2017.
American Airlines pilots joined TWU workers from JFK and LaGuardia airports during a protest in Manhattan in October 2017. (Gregg Vigliotti/For New York Daily News)
Samuelsen hailed the winning vote.
“This historic victory is yet another example of the tide turning in America as workers collectively fight back to defend their livelihoods,” he said in a statement. “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 union hopes “to immediately commence contract bargaining with JetBlue,” he added. “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.”