Written by David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Machinists and Space Workers Association said Friday it has applied for an election to represent about 3,000 ground workers at JetBlue.
The Federation will submit an application to the National Mediation Board. The union says JetBlue workers are receiving rates of pay and benefits below the industry standard.
JetBlue opposes this effort. The New York-based carrier said in a statement that “in addition to providing competitive pay, benefits and opportunities in a safe environment, JetBlue is the only major US airline that has not had “crew members” in its 22-year history” even during a pandemic, and what We remain the only airline in the industry to commit not to leave.”
The company added that it firmly believes “that the direct relationship we have with our ground operations crew has been successful, will continue to operate, and that third-party representation and the costs incurred by our crew members who come with it are not in their best interests.”
“It is time for JetBlue workers to gain the dignity and respect of union contract, and a strong voice on the job,” said Richard Johnson, IAM Air Transport Regional Vice President.
IAM is the largest airline association in North America and represents workers for every major US airline. Airlines are one of the most unionized sectors of the American economy.