Union vs Non-Union Thanksgiving Pay

Union vs Non-Union Thanksgiving Pay

Working on Thanksgiving? How JetBlue GO Crewmembers Holiday Pay Compares to Other Unionized GO Workers 

Justice at JetBlue
22 November 2022

The airline industry, as we know, is a 24/7 operation, and working on a holiday is part of the job. However, how we are COMPENSATED for working on a holiday is a totally different issue. As you’ll see below, UNIONIZED Ground Ops workers at every major airline have NEGOTIATED better pay for having to work on Thanksgiving.

The only reason JetBlue Crewmembers earn less for working on Thanksgiving is because JetBlue management makes all the rules and Crewmembers have NO VOICE or VOTE in the creation of those rules. Having a UNION and the right to NEGOTIATE A CONTRACT will change that. 

On average, top-of-scale Unionized GO airline workers earn between $164.23 and $204.23 MORE than GO Crewmembers just for Thanksgiving! If we also consider working on Christmas, then Unionized GO workers earn between $328.46 and $408.46 MORE. 

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JetBlue Hits More Turbulence

JetBlue Hits More Turbulence

JetBlue is a company that has been mismanaged for years. Now, that poor management has invited numerous court actions and unwanted ire from the Justice Department.

JetBlue Merger Hits More Turbulance

Organizing
7 November 2022

JetBlue is facing mounting scrutiny over its planned merger with Spirit. A group of airline workers and consumers are filing a court challenge to try and slow the “almost unstoppable” march towards airline megalopoly. 

The action comes as JetBlue posts the worst 3rd Quarter profits of any major carrier, earning a dismal $.21 a share, prompting investor concerns that airline management may be underperforming at a critical moment for the carrier. It’s also happening at a time when the airline is facing mounting concerns from the Justice Department over it’s de-facto merger with American in the Northeast markets.CEO Robin Hayes is expected to appear in court to defend the airline’s actions in that case. The airline is also facing questions from unions, who are asking if the company is being irresponsible financially, overpaying investors with what is being called “hush money” in case the deal with Spirit falls through. Unions are also calling for the airline to raise wages and offer better work / life balance for employees.

 

Flight Crews and consumers filed an injunction asking a Federal Judge to stop the planned $3.8 Billion merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines in hopes of preserving one of the few remaining discount carriers in the U.S.

The group filed to stop the deal on Thursday, asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to block the transaction. The group argues that the new, larger airline could dominate key markets, leaving consumers no choice but to pay ticket prices that are impossible for either airline to command today. 

If the merger goes through, the complaint argues, consumers “would not only lose the competition of Spirit, but also the potential competition that JetBlue would provide by building its own national presence the old-fashioned way, by competing for passengers instead of buying them.”

JetBlue is the sixth-largest airline operating in the U.S. Spirit is the seventh. The combined airline would immediately become the fifth-largest air carrier, right behind American, Delta, Southwest, and United. 

The complaint argues that Spirit is a significant price-cutting rival of JetBlue and other major carriers and that, if the airline were eliminated from the commercial aviation ecosystem, other airlines would be free to hike fares on consumers. Moreover, the “current trend toward concentration, the lessening of competition, and the tendency to create a monopoly in the airline industry are unmatched and unparalleled,” the suit read.

It goes on to suggest that monopolistic power was the primary goal of the merger. “JetBlue would gain a majority market share on more than a dozen routes where neither it nor Spirit previously dominated, and it would eliminate the price-cutting by Spirit. Therefore, JetBlue made an unsolicited tender offer to purchase Spirit in order to eliminate that competition,” according to the filing. 

The complaint states that Spirit is unique in commercial aviation because it’s small enough to survive on smaller ticket prices but large enough to compete against mega-carriers such as United and Southwest. 

“Spirit, with its innovative, low-cost service, is an important bulwark against this almost unstoppable trend toward complete concentration and monopoly in the airline industry,” the suit says.

The proposed merger wouldn’t just eliminate another discount option for travelers; it would also remove an essential reason for the four mega-carriers to avoid “abuses” directed toward the flying public. If the Big Four airlines are no longer afraid of losing passengers to Spirit, the result may be skies that are even less friendly than they already are. If the JetBlue / Spirit deal is ultimately allowed to go forward, discount airfares in the U.S. will shrink by 50% overnight. 

Earlier in 2022, the Spirit Board and executives concluded that a merger between Spirit and JetBlue could never be approved by regulators and was, therefore, “illusory.” The Board then rejected an earlier offer by JetBlue. JetBlue offered to “sweeten the deal” by paying the shareholders $400 million if the proposed combination failed. Thus the shareholders could move forward with the JetBlue combination without any risks. The $400 million to shareholders was to quiet the shareholder’s knowledge of the potential illegality of the acquisitions and was little more than “hush money” according to the suit. 

All of this poses the question, What’s the end game? Is this all intentional? Greed seems to have airlines so vexed that they can’t see that they could be potentially pricing the consumer out, or could it all just be a ploy to create an ecosystem of, “our way or the highway.’ The entire notion of all of this seems to be rooted in a mindset to force customers to either pay the price or seek other transportation options. In doing so this could stand to hurt us all by driving ridership down thusly causing jobs to potentially be cut. 
 
The airline’s pain is self-inflicted, which is puzzling if we assume management at the carrier is competent. 
In September, ground Workers at the airline petitioned to unify with the Machinists Union. The National Mediation Board is reviewing the signatures and is expected to schedule an election within the next few weeks. To the surprise of many veteran Union organizers, JetBlue executives seemed to comply with union election rules, opting not to use many of the stalling tactics typical of anti-union companies, which JetBlue historically has been. 
 
Playing by the rules has so far spared JetBlue from raising the hostility of the Department of Transportation, led by strongly pro-union Pete Buttigieg. Were the airline to face the double threat of challenges from both the Justice Department and Transportation, it would suddenly become hard to see the path forward for any merger. 
For his part, Secretary Buttigieg has voiced concerns over the growth of non-union companies within America’s transportation networks. The JetBlue / Spirit merger would create another large airline that isn’t completely unionized. 
 
If the Department of Transportation ultimately decides to oppose the deal, it could spell almost certain doom for JetBlue’s acquisition plans. The DOT has the power to unilaterally deem the arrangement to be not in the public’s interest and nix the merger – without needing to go to court or gain the approval of any other agency. 
While JetBlue executives seem to understand the dangers the merger could face from an annoyed DOT, Ground Operations supervisors are struggling to grasp the concept. At virtually every JetBlue location, low-level supervisors have been unlawfully engaging in abusive anti-union tactics. Including unlawfully confiscating union property and threatening Crewmembers – all of which have been reported to Federal Regulators. 

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JetBlue Merger Hits More Turbulence 

7 November 2022

JetBlue is facing mounting scrutiny over its planned merger with Spirit. A group of airline workers and consumers are filing a court challenge to try and slow the “almost unstoppable” march towards airline megalopoly.

The action comes as JetBlue posts the worst 3rd Quarter profits of any major carrier, earning a dismal $.21 a share, prompting investor concerns that airline management may be underperforming at a critical moment for the carrier. It’s also happening at a time when the airline is facing mounting concerns from the Justice Department over its de-facto merger with American in the Northeast markets.CEO Robin Hayes is expected to appear in court to defend the airline’s actions in that case. The airline is also facing questions from unions, who are asking if the company is being irresponsible financially, overpaying investors with what is being called “hush money” in case the deal with Spirit falls through. Unions are also calling for the airline to raise wages and offer better work/life balance for employees.

Flight Crews and consumers filed an injunction asking a Federal Judge to stop the planned $3.8 Billion merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines in hopes of preserving one of the few remaining discount carriers in the U.S.

The group filed to stop the deal on Thursday, asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to block the transaction. The group argues that the new, larger airline could dominate key markets, leaving consumers no choice but to pay ticket prices that are impossible for either airline to command today. 

If the merger goes through, the complaint argues, consumers “would not only lose the competition of Spirit, but also the potential competition that JetBlue would provide by building its own national presence the old-fashioned way, by competing for passengers instead of buying them.”

JetBlue is the sixth-largest airline operating in the U.S. Spirit is the seventh. The combined airline would immediately become the fifth-largest air carrier, right behind American, Delta, Southwest, and United. 

The complaint argues that Spirit is a significant price-cutting rival of JetBlue and other major carriers and that, if the airline were eliminated from the commercial aviation ecosystem, other airlines would be free to hike fares on consumers. Moreover, the “current trend toward concentration, the lessening of competition, and the tendency to create a monopoly in the airline industry are unmatched and unparalleled,” the suit read.

It goes on to suggest that monopolistic power was the primary goal of the merger. “JetBlue would gain a majority market share on more than a dozen routes where neither it nor Spirit previously dominated, and it would eliminate the price-cutting by Spirit. Therefore, JetBlue made an unsolicited tender offer to purchase Spirit in order to eliminate that competition,” according to the filing. 

The complaint states that Spirit is unique in commercial aviation because it’s small enough to survive on smaller ticket prices but large enough to compete against mega-carriers such as United and Southwest. 

“Spirit, with its innovative, low-cost service, is an important bulwark against this almost unstoppable trend toward complete concentration and monopoly in the airline industry,” the suit says.

The proposed merger wouldn’t just eliminate another discount option for travelers; it would also remove an essential reason for the four mega-carriers to avoid “abuses” directed toward the flying public. If the Big Four airlines are no longer afraid of losing passengers to Spirit, the result may be skies that are even less friendly than they already are. If the JetBlue / Spirit deal is ultimately allowed to go forward, discount airfares in the U.S. will shrink by 50% overnight.

The proposed merger wouldn’t just eliminate another discount option for travelers; it would also remove an essential reason for the four mega-carriers to avoid “abuses” directed toward the flying public. If the Big Four airlines are no longer afraid of losing passengers to Spirit, the result may be skies that are even less friendly than they already are. If the JetBlue / Spirit deal is ultimately allowed to go forward, discount airfares in the U.S. will shrink by 50% overnight. 

Earlier in 2022, the Spirit Board and executives concluded that a merger between Spirit and JetBlue could never be approved by regulators and was, therefore, “illusory.” The Board then rejected an earlier offer by JetBlue. JetBlue offered to “sweeten the deal” by paying the shareholders $400 million if the proposed combination failed. Thus the shareholders could move forward with the JetBlue combination without any risks. The $400 million to shareholders was to quiet the shareholder’s knowledge of the potential illegality of the acquisitions and was little more than “hush money” according to the suit. 

All of this poses the question, What’s the end game? Is this all intentional? Greed seems to have airlines so vexed that they can’t see that they could be potentially pricing the consumer out, or could it all just be a ploy to create an ecosystem of, “our way or the highway.’ The entire notion of all of this seems to be rooted in a mindset to force customers to either pay the price or seek other transportation options. In doing so this could stand to hurt us all by driving ridership down thusly causing jobs to potentially be cut. 
 
The airline’s pain is self-inflicted, which is puzzling if we assume management at the carrier is competent. 
In September, ground Workers at the airline petitioned to unify with the Machinists Union. The National Mediation Board is reviewing the signatures and is expected to schedule an election within the next few weeks. To the surprise of many veteran Union organizers, JetBlue executives seemed to comply with union election rules, opting not to use many of the stalling tactics typical of anti-union companies, which JetBlue historically has been. 
 
Playing by the rules has so far spared JetBlue from raising the hostility of the Department of Transportation, led by strongly pro-union Pete Buttigieg. Were the airline to face the double threat of challenges from both the Justice Department and Transportation, it would suddenly become hard to see the path forward for any merger. 
For his part, Secretary Buttigieg has voiced concerns over the growth of non-union companies within America’s transportation networks. The JetBlue / Spirit merger would create another large airline that isn’t completely unionized. 
 
If the Department of Transportation ultimately decides to oppose the deal, it could spell almost certain doom for JetBlue’s acquisition plans. The DOT has the power to unilaterally deem the arrangement to be not in the public’s interest and nix the merger – without needing to go to court or gain the approval of any other agency. 
While JetBlue executives seem to understand the dangers the merger could face from an annoyed DOT, Ground Operations supervisors are struggling to grasp the concept. At virtually every JetBlue location, low-level supervisors have been unlawfully engaging in abusive anti-union tactics. Including unlawfully confiscating union property and threatening Crewmembers – all of which have been reported to Federal Regulators. 

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JetBlue Lies Exposed in MCO

JetBlue Lies Exposed in MCO

JetBlue’s VP of Airport Experiences tried to convince Ground Ops Crewmembers to give the airline another year to fix things.

JetBlue Lies Exposed in MCO

Organizing
4 November 2022

Vice President of Airports Experience, Dana Shapir, has been hitting the road since GO Crewmembers filed for a union representation election. Over the last couple of weeks, Dana has been visiting GO Crewmembers and trying to convince us that the “direct relationship” is better than GO Crewmembers gaining union representation and a legally enforceable contract.

She’s having a tough time telling the truth and she had an even tougher time dealing honestly with the questions MCO Crewmembers asked her on Wednesday. VP Shapir parroted what JetBlue’s high-priced, union-busting attorneys trained her to say about the “direct relationship.” While she was begging for one more year to fix all the things that she admitted are wrong for Crewmembers at JetBlue, she claimed that “together we can fix these things through the direct relationship.” 

Really? The “direct relationship” is a stone cold sham. The same “direct relationship” that took away profit sharing? The “direct relationship” that took away monetary lifts and performance bonuses? The same wonderful “direct relationship” that took away the lead program? The same “direct relationship” that lied about Labor Day being a paid holiday? The “direct relationship” that took $2 BILLION in federal aid from the federal government to maintain our salaries, benefits and jobs during the pandemic and then cut our hours and stole our pay? Do you mean that “direct relationship”? 

VP Shapir also either lied or had no knowledge of the NMB voting process, which in either case is pretty bad. While attempting to explain the National Mediation Board (NMB) process to conduct union representation elections, VP Shapir said, “The IAM will mail out the ballots. They have your addresses.”

Huge lie. The NMB mails out the ballots to all eligible voters to the addresses supplied to the NMB by JetBlue. The IAM does not get the addresses, nor does the IAM have anything to do with the mailing of the ballots.

She also feigned ignorance, or admitted wrongdoing, regarding other questions. When asked why it’s ok for JetBlue to spend millions of dollars a year on dues to belong to a union of airlines, Airlines for America, Ms. Shapir wouldn’t even answer the question. She claimed she has no knowledge of Airlines for America and just moved on. Visit https://www.airlines.org/who-we-are/ for more information. 

When asked about JetBlue management cutting the pay and hours of Crewmembers during the pandemic, contrary to federal law, Ms. Shapir just shrugged and said “we did what we had to do…”

The IAM will update all Crewmembers on the status of holding JetBlue management accountable for violating the terms of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) by cutting the hours and pay, which was not permitted by the PSP component of the Cares Act.

It’s time for all Crewmembers to unify, to VOTE YES when the time comes, and speak our minds. We have a federally protected right to join a union, and to show our support for unionizing! We are on our way sisters and brothers!

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JetBlue Management Lies Exposed at MCO

4 November 2022

JetBlue’s VP of Airport Experiences tried to convince Ground Ops Crewmembers to give the airline another year to fix things.

Vice President of Airports Experience, Dana Shapir, has been hitting the road since GO Crewmembers filed for a union representation election. Over the last couple of weeks, Dana has been visiting GO Crewmembers and trying to convince us that the “direct relationship” is better than GO Crewmembers gaining union representation and a legally enforceable contract.

She’s having a tough time telling the truth and she had an even tougher time dealing honestly with the questions MCO Crewmembers asked her on Wednesday. VP Shapir parroted what JetBlue’s high-priced, union-busting attorneys trained her to say about the “direct relationship.” While she was begging for one more year to fix all the things that she admitted are wrong for Crewmembers at JetBlue, she claimed that “together we can fix these things through the direct relationship.”

Really? The “direct relationship” is a stone-cold sham. The same “direct relationship” that took away profit sharing? The “direct relationship” that took away monetary lifts and performance bonuses? The same wonderful “direct relationship” that took away the lead program? The same “direct relationship” that lied about Labor Day being a paid holiday? The “direct relationship” that took $2 BILLION in federal aid from the federal government to maintain our salaries, benefits and jobs during the pandemic and then cut our hours and stole our pay? Do you mean that “direct relationship”?

VP Shapir also either lied or had no knowledge of the NMB voting process, which in either case is pretty bad. While attempting to explain the National Mediation Board (NMB) process to conduct union representation elections, VP Shapir said, “The IAM will mail out the ballots. They have your addresses.”

Huge lie. The NMB mails out the ballots to all eligible voters to the addresses supplied to the NMB by JetBlue. The IAM does not get the addresses, nor does the IAM have anything to do with the mailing of the ballots.

She also feigned ignorance, or admitted wrongdoing, regarding other questions. When asked why it’s ok for JetBlue to spend millions of dollars a year on dues to belong to a union of airlines, Airlines for America, Ms. Shapir wouldn’t even answer the question. She claimed she has no knowledge of Airlines for America and just moved on. Visit https://www.airlines.org/who-we-are/ for more information.

When asked about JetBlue management cutting the pay and hours of Crewmembers during the pandemic, contrary to federal law, Ms. Shapir just shrugged and said “we did what we had to do…”

The IAM will update all Crewmembers on the status of holding JetBlue management accountable for violating the terms of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) by cutting the hours and pay, which was not permitted by the PSP component of the Cares Act.

It’s time for all Crewmembers to unify, to VOTE YES when the time comes, and speak our minds. We have a federally protected right to join a union, and to show our support for unionizing! We are on our way sisters and brothers!

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Airline Profits: Union Made

Airline Profits: Union Made

Record summer airline profits are proof that workers are assets that should be invested in, not liabilities that should be limited.

Summer 2022 Airline Profits: Union Made

Organizing
31 October 2022

Unions create a workplace where workers take their jobs seriously, creating the foundations for long-term careerism at a company. In addition to being more productive, unions provide a better view of real-world working conditions, allowing their companies to make smarter decisions. Union workers provide more value, more stability, and higher profits.

Unions have been vilified by management executives for years. It’s nothing new. The standard narrative goes like this: “If a union comes in, we don’t know what will happen. Things could get worse. We know we have some problems. Give us a chance to fix them. A union is not the answer.”

Management couldn’t be more wrong because “the union” is JetBlue GO Crewmembers. It’s us, and we’re already there. All we need is the legal power by unionizing to make our jobs better through a legally enforceable contract.

Employees who unionize and gain the legal right to participate in how their companies are run do so with great success. 

The recent earnings reports of US airlines demonstrate this.

Turns out, unionized airlines are performing at the top of our industry. United Airlines earned just under $1 Billion during the summer, earning an astounding $2.81 per share. But United wasn’t alone in posting impressive profits. Alaska raked in a whopping $2.53 a share over the same period. American and Southwest reported earnings of $.69 and $.41 a share, respectively. 

Meanwhile, JetBlue management came home with a dismal $0.21 per share. The worst performing unionized carrier, Southwest, posted almost twice the earnings per share as JetBlue management did. 

Rigid, heavy-handed, top-down management doesn’t always make the best decisions at a company. As JetBlue’s earnings report proves. But a Unified workforce, with front-line workers able to contribute and add their input as critical decisions are made, is working – especially in commercial aviation. 

And, a big part of why that’s happening is precisely because front-line workers might know a thing or two about how best to do our jobs. Management should listen to us, not dictate to us.

Unions play a vital role in ensuring the financial success of airlines. By providing economic certainty, stability, and fairness, unions help airlines deal with the many different externalities that face the industry. Here’s a look at how unions add value to airlines.

Unions help airlines be financially successful by providing economic certainty.

When an airline has a strong union contract, it knows how much it will have to pay its employees each year. This predictability helps the airline budget more effectively long term and plan for the future. It also allows the airline to offer its employees competitive wages, benefits, and working conditions. This helps attract and retain the best talent. Non-union airlines, like JetBlue, are often plagued by high turnover which places a lot more stress on the existing workforce. This leads to OJIs, MSEs, outsourcing, and many other detrimental outcomes. 

Unions help airlines by providing stability.

A union contract is a legal agreement between an airline and its employees that outlines the terms of employment. This includes wages, hours, working conditions, and job security. Once a contract is in place, it can only be changed through negotiation between the airline and the workers themselves. This process helps ensure that the workplace is stable, which is essential for an industry constantly facing uncertainty.

Unions help airlines by providing fairness.

Union contracts often include provisions that protect employees from things like arbitrary and unjust discipline and termination, favoritism, discrimination, and sexual harassment. This helps create a fair and safe workplace, which is essential for attracting and retaining the best talent. It also helps protect employees from being taken advantage of by their employers.

Unions help airlines succeed financially by giving front-line workers a seat at the table.

The people who are going to make the best decisions about how to run an airline operation will always be the people who do the actual work. And, that would be JetBlue GO Crewmembers. It’s not that all company bigwigs are entirely clueless. But, company executives would benefit greatly from the operational knowledge of GO Crewmembers. Just think about safety and working conditions. Don’t you think that management would be better off because they HAD to listen to us and take our ideas into consideration when dealing with safety issues and improving working conditions?

Unions ensure that the people who know how the work is done can add their insights and offer real-world expertise as company decisions are made. Executives may know their thing, but Unions will better understand how to keep the workplace motivated, enabled, and productive.

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31 October 2022

Record summer airline profits are proof that workers are assets that should be invested in, not liabilities that should be limited.

Unions create a workplace where workers take their jobs seriously, creating the foundations for long-term careerism at a company. In addition to being more productive, unions provide a better view of real-world working conditions, allowing their companies to make smarter decisions. Union workers provide more value, more stability, and higher profits.

Unions have been vilified by management executives for years. It’s nothing new. The standard narrative goes like this: “If a union comes in, we don’t know what will happen. Things could get worse. We know we have some problems. Give us a chance to fix them. A union is not the answer.”

Management couldn’t be more wrong because “the union” is JetBlue GO Crewmembers. It’s us, and we’re already there. All we need is the legal power by unionizing to make our jobs better through a legally enforceable contract.

Employees who unionize and gain the legal right to participate in how their companies are run do so with great success. 

The recent earnings reports of US airlines demonstrate this.

Turns out, unionized airlines are performing at the top of our industry. United Airlines earned just under $1 Billion during the summer, earning an astounding $2.81 per share. But United wasn’t alone in posting impressive profits. Alaska raked in a whopping $2.53 a share over the same period. American and Southwest reported earnings of $.69 and $.41 a share, respectively. 

Meanwhile, JetBlue management came home with a dismal $0.21 per share. The worst performing unionized carrier, Southwest, posted almost twice the earnings per share as JetBlue management did. 

Rigid, heavy-handed, top-down management doesn’t always make the best decisions at a company. As JetBlue’s earnings report proves. But a Unified workforce, with front-line workers able to contribute and add their input as critical decisions are made, is working – especially in commercial aviation. 

And, a big part of why that’s happening is precisely because front-line workers might know a thing or two about how best to do our jobs. Management should listen to us, not dictate to us.

Unions play a vital role in ensuring the financial success of airlines. By providing economic certainty, stability, and fairness, unions help airlines deal with the many different externalities that face the industry. Here’s a look at how unions add value to airlines.

Unions help airlines be financially successful by providing economic certainty.

When an airline has a strong union contract, it knows how much it will have to pay its employees each year. This predictability helps the airline budget more effectively long term and plan for the future. It also allows the airline to offer its employees competitive wages, benefits, and working conditions. This helps attract and retain the best talent. Non-union airlines, like JetBlue, are often plagued by high turnover which places a lot more stress on the existing workforce. This leads to OJIs, MSEs, outsourcing, and many other detrimental outcomes. 

Unions help airlines by providing stability.

A union contract is a legal agreement between an airline and its employees that outlines the terms of employment. This includes wages, hours, working conditions, and job security. Once a contract is in place, it can only be changed through negotiation between the airline and the workers themselves. This process helps ensure that the workplace is stable, which is essential for an industry constantly facing uncertainty.

Unions help airlines by providing fairness.

Union contracts often include provisions that protect employees from things like arbitrary and unjust discipline and termination, favoritism, discrimination, and sexual harassment. This helps create a fair and safe workplace, which is essential for attracting and retaining the best talent. It also helps protect employees from being taken advantage of by their employers.

Unions help airlines succeed financially by giving front-line workers a seat at the table.

The people who are going to make the best decisions about how to run an airline operation will always be the people who do the actual work. And, that would be JetBlue GO Crewmembers. It’s not that all company bigwigs are entirely clueless. But, company executives would benefit greatly from the operational knowledge of GO Crewmembers. Just think about safety and working conditions. Don’t you think that management would be better off because they HAD to listen to us and take our ideas into consideration when dealing with safety issues and improving working conditions? 

Unions ensure that the people who know how the work is done can add their insights and offer real-world expertise as company decisions are made. Executives may know their thing, but Unions will better understand how to keep the workplace motivated, enabled, and productive.

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A Halloween Story About Dues at JetBlue

A Halloween Story About Dues at JetBlue

Supervisors at JetBlue think Crewmembers should be scared of dues, but it’s abusive supervisors who have the most to fear from a well-funded, unified workplace. 

A Halloween Story About Dues at JetBlue

Organizing
31 October 2022

Anti-Union managers at JetBlue seem to wish more people were scared of “Union Dues” (cue scary Halloween music.) Long a staple of anti-union campaigns, JetBlue has been banging on about “Dues” (Oh No!) for years. Now that a majority of Ground Operations at the airline have petitioned the Federal Government to join the Machinists & Aerospace Union, managers and their hunch-backed lackeys have been working themselves into an absolute froth trying to conjure up the specter of Dues (Oh No!).

With all the drama of a Silver-Age Gothic Horror Movie, JetBlue Company Men have been shouting, “The Dues are Coming! The Dues are Coming!” with the energy of an organ-playing maniac haunting a creepy old concert hall. Frightening flyers created by company managers in dank dungeon laboratories have begun rising from dark hallways: “Got Dues? (The IAM Does.) they warn. Company Men have taken to social media to toll the graveyard bell, intoning, “They’re coming to get your dues, Barbara!” And, “You’re all Due’med! You’re all Duuuuue’med!”

Except, it’s not working. By a vast margin, these grim warnings are almost universally shrugged off by JetBlue Crewmembers. Nobody’s scared, and Company Men seem honestly perplexed about how that could be. They were sure that the dreaded campfire story of Dues (Oh No!) would drive a stake right through the heart of the union movement at the carrier. Except, it’s just become a spectacular failure. And, this has got the Company Men almost adorably mystified. 

One way to make ghost stories of Dues (Oh No!) less scary is to make them not exist in the first place. A September statement from Machinists Union General Vice President Richard Johnsen to Crewmembers made it clear that there would be no dues until they made union wages.

 

“Let me be 100 percent crystal clear,” Johnsen said in the statement. “Not one cent in union dues will be paid by Ground Operations Crewmembers until Ground Operations Crewmembers have a contract that is ratified by a majority of GO Crewmembers,” he said. “Once a legally binding contract is in place, union dues will be $42 per month. And, because JetBlue GO Crewmembers are a newly organized group of workers, there will be no initiation fee,” the statement continued. 

JetBlue supervisors and their hench-persons seemed to need help comprehending the announcement. 

“I find it hard to believe that a company will represent you for maybe years and say nope we are not going to charge you,” said one individual in a social media post. “Because, at the end of the day, a union is still a business, and businesses all have the fine print,” he continued. 

Unions are not businesses and cannot make profits from dues. Unions make more money when they negotiate a higher hourly wage from their employers. Several years ago, the Machinists Union ran an organizing campaign at JetBlue under the slogan “$30 and a Contract,” to pressure the airline to bring their wages up. At the time, the Machinists were negotiating a new contract at American Airlines. The airline was using the example of underpaid Crewmembers at JetBlue as an excuse to avoid the wage hikes Union Negotiators were demanding. The airline claimed that it could not stay competitive if it paid a modern wage to its unified workforce. Eventually, JetBlue raised wages to just under $30 an hour, hoping to end the Union Organizing campaign. American Airlines relented and agreed to pay increases. By the time a Tentative Agreement was worked out, American had agreed to the highest wages in the history of commercial aviation (…at the time. Since then, the Machinists Union has broken the American Airlines hourly wage record with a recent contract at Alaskan and now with a new Tentative Agreement at Southwest).

In other words, the Union made money from the higher industry-standard wages resulting from discount carriers like JetBlue raising the floor on pay. The potential Dues (Oh No!) from JetBlue Crewmembers were never part of the equation; the bigger negotiated paychecks at JetBlue and American were always the primary economic goal. 

Machinists Union members will never “make money” from JetBlue dues for a long, long time. Crewmembers will contribute no dues during the expensive first contract negotiation process. Additionally, it will take years to recoup the financial investments Union Members have made to assist JetBlue Union Organizers up to this point. 

Once JetBlue Ground Crews start contributing $42 a month, they will need to spend money enforcing their first contract, making the notion of Dues (Oh No!) as a profit-maker even more remote. A single Grievance that gets to the District level can cost as much as $10,000 to arbitrate. JetBlue Supervisors are not accustomed to dealing with unified workers and teaching these Supervisors to follow the rules the hard way is bound to be costly. Much of that $42 will also be used to take JetBlue Crewmembers off the clock to enforce the contract full-time. Some Crewmembers will also work as “Union Stewards” and assist co-workers facing disciplinary action by the company. Dues will be spent covering the costs Union Stewards run into as they protect other Crewmembers. 

Making the Dues (Oh No!) argument even more mysterious, Unions are going to be adding about 30,000 new members over the next two years as United bulks up its workforce. That’s 30,000 new union members who will be paying full dues from day one. The tale that Machinists need the 3,000 non-dues paying members at JetBlue for their Dues is very hard to reconcile with reality.

The Union will meet monthly at a Local Lodge office to conduct Union Business. At these meetings, union members from JetBlue will vote on exactly how to spend dues revenue. Unions vote on how every dollar is spent. There will be a monthly vote on whether or not to pay the electric bill, for example. JetBlue Crewmembers will also vote to spend money on special events, fundraisers, and community involvement. But the primary way dues will be spent will be by enforcing the contract and creating penalties for abusive supervisors who refuse to follow the rules Crewmembers laid out in the Agreement.

Supervisors who can’t stop violating the Agreement will sooner or later start getting expensive, and not just for the Union. JetBlue will also have to pay up whenever a supervisor gets out of pocket, covering its own costs to arbitrate a Grievance. These rogue Supervisors can also bring down financial penalties and fees from Federal Regulators as punishment for severe contractual infringements. If they keep racking up Grievances, supervisors will find themselves too great a legal risk for the airline to keep on the payroll. 

Abusive and corrupt Supervisors have a lot more to fear from “Dues” than Crewmembers.

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A Halloween Story About Dues At JetBlue

31 October 2022

Supervisors at JetBlue think Crewmembers should be scared of dues, but it’s abusive supervisors who have the most to fear from a well-funded, unified workplace.

Anti-Union managers at JetBlue seem to wish more people were scared of “Union Dues” (cue scary Halloween music.) Long a staple of anti-union campaigns, JetBlue has been banging on about “Dues” (Oh No!) for years. Now that a majority of Ground Operations at the airline have petitioned the Federal Government to join the Machinists & Aerospace Union, managers and their hunch-backed lackeys have been working themselves into an absolute froth trying to conjure up the specter of Dues (Oh No!).

With all the drama of a Silver-Age Gothic Horror Movie, JetBlue Company Men have been shouting, “The Dues are Coming! The Dues are Coming!” with the energy of an organ-playing maniac haunting a creepy old concert hall. Frightening flyers created by company managers in dank dungeon laboratories have begun rising from dark hallways: “Got Dues? (The IAM Does.) they warn. Company Men have taken to social media to toll the graveyard bell, intoning, “They’re coming to get your dues, Barbara!” And, “You’re all Due’med! You’re all Duuuuue’med!”

Except, it’s not working. By a vast margin, these grim warnings are almost universally shrugged off by JetBlue Crewmembers. Nobody’s scared, and Company Men seem honestly perplexed about how that could be. They were sure that the dreaded campfire story of Dues (Oh No!) would drive a stake right through the heart of the union movement at the carrier. Except, it’s just become a spectacular failure. And, this has got the Company Men almost adorably mystified. 

One way to make ghost stories of Dues (Oh No!) less scary is to make them not exist in the first place. A September statement from Machinists Union General Vice President Richard Johnsen to Crewmembers made it clear that there would be no dues until they made union wages.

“Let me be 100 percent crystal clear,” Johnsen said in the statement. “Not one cent in union dues will be paid by Ground Operations Crewmembers until Ground Operations Crewmembers have a contract that is ratified by a majority of GO Crewmembers,” he said. “Once a legally binding contract is in place, union dues will be $42 per month. And, because JetBlue GO Crewmembers are a newly organized group of workers, there will be no initiation fee,” the statement continued. 

JetBlue supervisors and their hench-persons seemed to need help comprehending the announcement. 

“I find it hard to believe that a company will represent you for maybe years and say nope we are not going to charge you,” said one individual in a social media post. “Because, at the end of the day, a union is still a business, and businesses all have the fine print,” he continued.

Unions are not businesses and cannot make profits from dues. Unions make more money when they negotiate a higher hourly wage from their employers.

Several years ago, the Machinists Union ran an organizing campaign at JetBlue under the slogan “$30 and a Contract,” to pressure the airline to bring their wages up. At the time, the Machinists were negotiating a new contract at American Airlines. The airline was using the example of underpaid Crewmembers at JetBlue as an excuse to avoid the wage hikes Union Negotiators were demanding. The airline claimed that it could not stay competitive if it paid a modern wage to its unified workforce.

Eventually, JetBlue raised wages to just under $30 an hour, hoping to end the Union Organizing campaign. American Airlines relented and agreed to pay increases. By the time a Tentative Agreement was worked out, American had agreed to the highest wages in the history of commercial aviation (…at the time. Since then, the Machinists Union has broken the American Airlines hourly wage record with a recent contract at Alaskan and now with a new Tentative Agreement at Southwest).

In other words, the Union made money from the higher industry-standard wages resulting from discount carriers like JetBlue raising the floor on pay. The potential Dues (Oh No!) from JetBlue Crewmembers were never part of the equation; the bigger negotiated paychecks at JetBlue and American were always the primary economic goal. 

Machinists Union members will never “make money” from JetBlue dues for a long, long time. Crewmembers will contribute no dues during the expensive first contract negotiation process. Additionally, it will take years to recoup the financial investments Union Members have made to assist JetBlue Union Organizers up to this point. 

Once JetBlue Ground Crews start contributing $42 a month, they will need to spend money enforcing their first contract, making the notion of Dues (Oh No!) as a profit-maker even more remote. A single Grievance that gets to the District level can cost as much as $10,000 to arbitrate. JetBlue Supervisors are not accustomed to dealing with unified workers and teaching these Supervisors to follow the rules the hard way is bound to be costly. Much of that $42 will also be used to take JetBlue Crewmembers off the clock to enforce the contract full-time. Some Crewmembers will also work as “Union Stewards” and assist co-workers facing disciplinary action by the company. Dues will be spent covering the costs Union Stewards run into as they protect other Crewmembers.

Making the Dues (Oh No!) argument even more mysterious, Unions are going to be adding about 30,000 new members over the next two years as United bulks up its workforce. That’s 30,000 new union members who will be paying full dues from day one. The tale that Machinists need the 3,000 non-dues paying members at JetBlue for their Dues is very hard to reconcile with reality. 

The Union will meet monthly at a Local Lodge office to conduct Union Business. At these meetings, union members from JetBlue will vote on exactly how to spend dues revenue. Unions vote on how every dollar is spent. There will be a monthly vote on whether or not to pay the electric bill, for example. JetBlue Crewmembers will also vote to spend money on special events, fundraisers, and community involvement. But the primary way dues will be spent will be by enforcing the contract and creating penalties for abusive supervisors who refuse to follow the rules Crewmembers laid out in the Agreement.

Supervisors who can’t stop violating the Agreement will sooner or later start getting expensive, and not just for the Union. JetBlue will also have to pay up whenever a supervisor gets out of pocket, covering its own costs to arbitrate a Grievance. These rogue Supervisors can also bring down financial penalties and fees from Federal Regulators as punishment for severe contractual infringements. If they keep racking up Grievances, supervisors will find themselves too great a legal risk for the airline to keep on the payroll. 

Abusive and corrupt Supervisors have a lot more to fear from “Dues” than Crewmembers.



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JetBlue Union Vote Update: No Back Dues

JetBlue Union Vote Update: No Back Dues

JetBlue Union Vote Update: No Back Dues

Organizing
27 October 2022

Dear GO Crewmembers:

Sadly and unfortunately, it has come to our attention that JetBlue management and their agents are lying about the union dues issue once again.

Let me be as clear as possible: There will be NO PAYMENT OF “BACK DUES” AND NO INITIATION FEE. AFTER GO CREWMEMBERS RATIFY THEIR FIRST CONTRACT, GO CREWMEMBERS WILL PAY $42 PER MONTH IN DUES.

It is not surprising that JetBlue management and their agents are attempting to deceive you. JetBlue management, and the management-controlled “Values Committee,” only seek to maintain the status quo. JetBlue management’s goal is to retain all the power over all the decisions that affect the lives of GO Crewmembers and their families.

They do not want GO Crewmembers to have the right to negotiate their own legally binding contract and vote on that contract. Simply put, they want control. The “Values Committee” is an extension of JetBlue management. The reason it exists is to give GO Crewmembers the impression that the interests of GO Crewmembers are represented.

While there are likely well­meanihg GO Crewmembers who serve, and have served, on the “Values Committee,” the committee has no legal standing and has no legal power to represent GO Crewmembers. JetBlue management makes ALL decisions regarding the wages, benefits and working conditions of GO Crewmembers.

If GO Crewmembers don’t like those decisions, GO Crewmembers have no recourse other than to accept those decisions or cease employment. JetBlue management even says so in Section 1.1 of the Crewmember Blue Book:

“The Crewmember Blue Book is not intended to, and does not, create a term of employment or any employment contract, promise or representation, expressed or implied, with JetBlue; and does not limit or restrict JetBlue in creating or separating employment relationships.”

Why do you think JetBlue management and the “Values Committee” are working so hard to convince GO Crewmembers that you don’t need a union? Is it because they really care about you, or is it because it benefits them if things stay the same?

Because of your unity and efforts to unionize and gain a legally binding contract, JetBlue management and the “Values Committee” are threatened. And when the power structure and the status quo are threatened, people do strange things like lie and misinform their employees and co-workers in an effort to keep their power and cushy positions.

Stay strong sisters and brothers and VOTE YES, THEN NEGOTIATE YOUR CONTRACT WHEN THE TIME COMES!

In Unity,

Richard Johnsen,
General Vice President,
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

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JetBlue Union Vote Update: No Back Dues

27 October, 2022

Dear GO Crewmembers:

Sadly and unfortunately, it has come to our attention that JetBlue management and their agents are lying about the union dues issue once again.

Let me be as clear as possible: There will be NO PAYMENT OF “BACK DUES” AND NO INITIATION FEE. AFTER GO CREWMEMBERS RATIFY THEIR FIRST CONTRACT, GO CREWMEMBERS WILL PAY $42 PER MONTH IN DUES.

It is not surprising that JetBlue management and their agents are attempting to deceive you. JetBlue management, and the management-controlled “Values Committee,” only seek to maintain the status quo. JetBlue management’s goal is to retain all the power over all the decisions that affect the lives of GO Crewmembers and their families.

They do not want GO Crewmembers to have the right to negotiate their own legally binding contract and vote on that contract. Simply put, they want control. The “Values Committee” is an extension of JetBlue management. The reason it exists is to give GO Crewmembers the impression that the interests of GO Crewmembers are represented.

While there are likely well­meanihg GO Crewmembers who serve, and have served, on the “Values Committee,” the committee has no legal standing and has no legal power to represent GO Crewmembers. JetBlue management makes ALL decisions regarding the wages, benefits and working conditions of GO Crewmembers.

If GO Crewmembers don’t like those decisions, GO Crewmembers have no recourse other than to accept those decisions or cease employment. JetBlue management even says so in Section 1.1 of the Crewmember Blue Book:

“The Crewmember Blue Book is not intended to, and does not, create a term of employment or any employment contract, promise or representation, expressed or implied, with JetBlue; and does not limit or restrict JetBlue in creating or separating employment relationships.”

Why do you think JetBlue management and the “Values Committee” are working so hard to convince GO Crewmembers that you don’t need a union? Is it because they really care about you, or is it because it benefits them if things stay the same?

Because of your unity and efforts to unionize and gain a legally binding contract, JetBlue management and the “Values Committee” are threatened. And when the power structure and the status quo are threatened, people do strange things like lie and misinform their employees and co-workers in an effort to keep their power and cushy positions.

Stay strong sisters and brothers and VOTE YES, THEN NEGOTIATE YOUR CONTRACT WHEN THE TIME COMES!

In Unity,

Richard Johnsen,
General Vice President,
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

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