Based on JetBlue Inflight Crewmember comments and feedback sent directly to your TWU JetBlue IFC Negotiating Team and TAP Committee, concerned JetBlue IFCs have sent an open letter to Ed Baklor. The text of the letter is below.
An Open Letter from JetBlue IFCs to Ed Baklor
Over the past several weeks, you have sent threatening emails and made arbitrary policy changes that have harmed our IFCs. As JetBlue returns to regular operations, our union has offered to work with you to find solutions to the numerous problems we are faced with, and those offers have been ignored. Now, since you have been elevated to a new position, we ask you to please appoint a Vice President of Inflight who will work with our union to solve the problems you have created.
Like you, we are proud that no JetBlue IFCs were furloughed. Actually, no airline employees suffered the effects of furloughs, because we took voluntary leaves, and our unions worked with our elected officials to fund the two Payroll Support Programs that continue to pay our salaries. You seem to acknowledge that JetBlue did not anticipate such a quick recovery; however, staffing problems have been apparent since April, and we see your inaction.
You have taken the power to extend Critical Coverage Days through Labor Day, and we deserve to know why. A recent quote from a JetBlue spokesperson said, “the primary cause of disruption has been weather related and that all crew members get the necessary amount of rest as required by law.” You acknowledge that the EWR co-base creates an extreme hardship for us. These problems are not solved by increasing Critical Coverage periods that punish us for being sick during a pandemic.
You acknowledge that we have shortages of supplies on the aircraft that we use to properly care for our customers, yet instead of creating concrete solutions, you plan to hold briefings on why we don’t have coffee creamer or ice on our planes. We don’t need excuses, we need action. After touting our exclusive service to London, and all of its amenities, it will be us, not you, on the front lines facing angry customers if we don’t have the tools to do our jobs.
You also recently shifted the responsibility for checking bags at the gate from AOs to the IFCs. We know you aren’t an IFC; however, our job during boarding is to remain in our boarding positions while we monitor passengers for any security concerns, ensure mask compliance, assist and brief passengers, and make sure the cabin is secured. Checking bags is an AO responsibility and should remain part of the AOs’ professional duties.
JetBlue IFCs have bravely faced this pandemic, head on. We couldn’t work from home or serve our passengers on Zoom. We have gone to work on the airplane to help JetBlue recover while you have been in front of your computer sending what we view as threatening emails. It’s time to stop the blame game and hire a real leader who will work with us to fix what is broken. We will continue to work hard and do the best we can to support our company, but please find a Vice President of Inflight who shares the Caring values of our IFCs and will put us back on the right path—starting with a fair contract.