Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of JetBlue.
IAM Files For Union Representation Election For Approximately 3,000 JetBlue Ground Workers
Nearly 3,000 JetBlue ground workers will be voting soon to gain union representation. On Friday, September 23, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced it will file an application with the National Mediation Board (NMB) to take over as the official union representative for JetBlue workers.
IAM is the largest airline union in North America and represents every major airline in the US. JetBlue workers restarted initiatives for union representation in 2021 after the pandemic shook the industry. IAM plans to give airline workers the support they need and deserve.
“JetBlue workers are a smart, strong, and determined group of workers and we can’t wait to welcome them into the IAM family,” said IAM District 141 President Mike Klemm. “The IAM will support JetBlue workers in getting to and winning this election and negotiating a union contract that reflects their true value to JetBlue Airways.”
Fighting For Representation
NMB, the federal agency that regulates airline and railroad union elections, will facilitate the filing and election as JetBlue ground workers vote to retain representation. The election has been a long time coming as employees express concerns about a plethora of issues within the company.
“It’s high time that JetBlue workers gain the dignity and respect of a union contract, and a strong voice on the job,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richard Johnsen. “When our country needed essential goods and services to where they were needed most during the pandemic, JetBlue workers answered the bell and risked their lives and health to make that happen. What did they get from management? They got their hours and pay cut because they didn’t have a seat at the table. That will end very soon.”
For years, workers have complained about everything from below-industry standard pay rates to poor and unsafe working conditions. Some employees raised concerns about unfair disciplinary measures as well as poor benefits. With representation from IAM, JetBlue grounder workers will have a better chance at advocating for change internally.
A Seat At The Table
Union representation elections are based on the majority vote. If the majority of JetBlue workers agree, IAM will take over as the union representative for the company. President Johnsen said expects JetBlue to allow the election to take place freely with no interference from leadership.
“I also fully expect for JetBlue management to adhere to the law and allow JetBlue workers to vote without influence, coercion, and interference from JetBlue management,” Johnsen said. “If not, we will leave no stone unturned to hold them accountable.”
IAM representation will give ground workers a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that will impact their jobs and livelihood. Instead of being on the outside looking in, JetBlue ground workers will have bargaining power in company decision-making.
IAM represents approximately 600,000 active and retired members in a vast number of industries including aerospace, healthcare, airlines, and railroad.