Your TWU/JetBlue IFC Negotiating Team (NT) continues to receive alarming reports from IFCs regarding the EWR Co-Base. We have received reports of ASB assignments that cause IFCs to use public transportation alone, late at night and early in the morning; rideshares that cost over $100; and long days without an adequate place to rest. In particular, many of our Reserve IFCs are facing fear and anxiety that is completely unnecessary.
We reported your concerns to JetBlue Management. In their dismissive response, they stated that growing the Newark Co-Base was part of the recovery plan to remain competitive in NYC airports, but they failed to address the unsafe commuting conditions and duress our IFCs have experienced because of this arbitrary change. The company stated they are staffing airport standby IFCs in the event that Crewmembers who bid EWR pairings find “challenges when navigating the new operation.” We want to know how JetBlue proposes to assist the airport standby IFCs who are facing severe challenges navigating the new operation. How will JetBlue ensure the safety, mental health, and quality of life for all of our IFCs?
The company also stated that they have received “only a handful of complaints from some of our newest Inflight Crewmembers over their concerns about the commute, etc.” However, we have received dozens of concerns from IFCs who question how the hardships they are enduring represent the “Caring value” at JetBlue.
In the JetBlue Pilot contract and in our original Tentative Agreement (TA), EWR could not be designated as a Co-Base for good reason. Many of our JFK-based IFCs report EWR is too far away for a safe and affordable commute. The company successfully managed to expand operations at EWR without making it a Pilot Co-Base, and we believe they need to rollback the EWR Co-Base they have unilaterally forced on the IFCs. We have presented ideas to the company to resolve these problems and are willing to work with them on finding other solutions, but this needs immediate action.
JetBlue’s Leadership cannot just brush aside and ignore the problem, like they have so many other important issues impacting our work lives over the years. Their decision to shift the costs of the operation onto the backs of IFCs ignores the foreseeable, serious safety and transportation challenges that have inevitably resulted. The stress that this ill-conceived decision has caused so many of our IFCs is completely unfair and unacceptable. Sadly, JetBlue’s response has been inadequate, offensive denialism of the readily apparent problems their business decision has created for us.
Remember—these changes are affecting many of our IFCs and causing significant deterioration in their quality of life. JetBlue’s continual dismissal of our concerns ultimately affects all of us. Please continue to send your reports to the Union so that we can speak with one voice at the negotiating table and stand together to protect our IFCs.
United We Stand!