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Virgin America Attendants Vote Against Unionization (Read More…)

By Susan Carey

The National Mediation Board said Tuesday that a majority of the Virgin America flight attendants who cast ballots in an election over whether to be represented by the Transport Workers Union voted against unionization.

Of the 547 attendants at the San Francisco-based airline who voted, 324, or 59%, rejected the TWU, compared with 223, or 41%, who cast ballots for the union. Turnout was high, as 610 workers were eligible to decide.

“We are pleased our teammates let their voices by heard and voted to preserve what sets us apart as an airline,” Virgin American Chief Executive David Cush said in a statement Tuesday. “With the voting concluded, we look forward to working together as one team to keep building on what we have achieved to date.”
Virgin America, which took wing four years ago, now employs 2,200 nonunion workers, operates 44 planes and flies to 16 destinations.

The TWU represents 10,000 attendants at Southwest Airlines Co., last year won the right to bargain for more than 400 attendants at low-fare Allegiant Airlines and has an organizing drive under way at JetBlue Airways Corp. The union also represents dispatchers at a number of airlines and maintenance and ground workers at AMR Corp.‘s American Airlines.

In October, TWU organizers said they had enough signatures from Virgin America attendants signifying a desire for a union election in order to petition to the mediation board to call one.

The TWU said the vote was tainted by management pressure tactics, including threatening that attendants could lose pay, benefits and their jobs if workers voted in a union.

“We’re disappointed in the results… but this does not change our determination to support flight attendants at Virgin America with the full resources of our union,” Frank McCann, the union’s organizing director, said in a statement. “Every worker, in every job category, has a right to vote free of intimidation.”


Posted by Admin on 12/20 at 08:57 PM