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COVID-19 Updates—04-11-2020 & RSL Pay Protection

 

Thank you to everyone who has contacted us regarding the release of the “JETCRW Direct Request Feature for RSL Removal” application (the App), which allows IFCs to request RSL removal without pay protection. To be very clear, the TWU did not negotiate this provision, and we were not notified before it was announced.

The TWU has heard from several IFCs who are in high risk categories, have family care issues, are experiencing commuting difficulties, etc. Some of these IFCS were willing to have their trips removed without pay, but may not have been able to hold R&R. As a solution, the TWU proposed allowing IFCs to drop to zero hours using the tradeboard. The Company refused this request several times. We also requested that Scheduling release RSLs more than 24-hours prior to their assignment, when it is clear that Open Time is covered and there are sufficient Reserves to support the operation. Management agreed to consider looking at conditions two or three days in advance to limit potential, unnecessary exposure due to commuting or staying in crash pads.

The TWU was first made aware of the App by the JetBlue IFCs. This new policy appears directly in conflict with ISM provisions for RSL removal with Pay Protection, and we immediately contacted Management for clarification. Management told us that the App was intended for use by IFCs who wished to clear their schedule farther in advance but who were not as concerned with compensation. They also informed us that they would evaluate the operation and Reserve availability closer to the actual date of the pairing (2–3 days out), and they would release people with pay protection, in accordance with current ISM policy.

Since that clarification, we have received reports from IFCs that contradict this stated intention. Scheduling does not appear to be following the ISM regarding RSL removal. They are directing IFCs to use the App, and are stating that they will not be pay protected—even as soon as seven hours prior to the start of the assignment. We have requested additional information from JetBlue, but we have not received any response. We will continue to try to resolve this issue.

The TWU has demonstrated that we are willing to work with JetBlue to find creative solutions to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, however we cannot agree to arbitrary changes that negatively impact the income or quality of life of our IFCs. Until this is resolved, please remember—if you want to remain pay protected, do not use the App for RSL removal. If you experience any discrepancies, please report them directly to us.

The TWU has been working hard to take every precaution to help make the IFC work space as safe as possible. We have actively worked with JetBlue to ensure IFCs are allowed to wear gloves and masks on the aircraft, helped eliminate beverage and snack service for better implementation of social distancing, encouraged capping of flight loads, suggested modifications to safety demonstrations, promoted maintaining a safe distance between passengers and IFC jumpseats, and advocated for social distancing during transportation to and from airports.

On Monday, TWU International President John Samuelsen sent a letter to the FAA and OSHA that requested additional precautions to protect airline workers. We are pleased to announce that effective immediately, the front lavatory will be reserved for Crew use only and the IFC #2 will be allowed to sit in the alternate jumpseat for taxi, takeoff, and landing. Please see “Inflight Update # 25 / Coronavirus” for details about complying with social distancing recommendations. Thank you for your support in exercising all precautions, and we will continue to work towards the additional safety procedures we are seeking.

Your TWU IFC Negotiating Team will hold the previously scheduled Negotiating Session with JetBlue Management next week. To comply with COVID-19 restrictions, and to insure proper social distancing, the session will be held by conference call.

We are sad to report that we have lost another member of our JetBlue family. Jared Lovos, former BOS and JFK IFC, passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Although Jared left his IFC position to work in the People Department last fall, he leaves behind many good friends. We send our condolences and best wishes to his family and friends.

Thank you for the hard work you are doing every day and for the extra efforts you are taking to keep yourself, your coworkers, and your passengers safe on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis. You are the essential workers that move our nation, and the entire Transport Workers Union of America and our International President, John Samuelsen, are here to support you. We will survive this and emerge stronger together.

Fly safely, and stay safe at home.