JetBlue fleet service workers demand union vote

A JetBlue (Embraer 190) passenger jet taxis at New York LaGuardia Airport, New York.

Robert Alexander | Stock Photos | Getty Images

A major airline union said on Friday it had enough support among Jet Blue Airways‘ About 3,000 Fleet Services staff to seek a unionizing vote, in the latest initiative to organize workers.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said it would file a request for a union vote with the National Mediation Council. The task force includes baggage handlers and other ground operations employees.

A vote in favor could create the New York-based airline’s third-largest unionized work force. JetBlue pilots and flight attendants are already unionized. This would happen during a wave of union votes in the companies of Amazon at Starbucks.

A vote could also take place as JetBlue tries to acquire a low-cost airline Spirit Airlineswhere more than 80% of employees are represented by unions, compared to 46% for JetBlue, according to the company’s annual filings.

“The IAM has enough interest among JetBlue Fleet Service workers to hold an election for union representation,” the union said in a statement.

JetBlue did not immediately comment on the IAM statement.

Most workers at major airlines are already largely represented by unions, although some carriers like JetBlue are less so than some competitors.

Delta Airlines is the largest US carrier whose workers are mostly non-unionized. However, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the nation’s largest flight attendant union, is in the midst of a union campaign there, which he launched in 2019. Flight attendants had previously rejected unionization.

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