Unions Will Destroy JetBlue Culture! Not Really.

funnydog57It’s very clear that JetBlue leadership vehemently despises unions. The idea of having an organized workforce just isn’t appealing to them at all. In fact—they feel a unionized workgroup is bad for the culture. If unions are so bad for culture why is that many of the best employers have workers that are unionized? Let’s take a look at some of the workers that are unionized on Forbes magazine’s list of best employers:

# 2 Costco—The Teamsters Union represents more than 15,000 Costco workers at 55 locations in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. Costco has more than 300 locations, with about 93,000 employees. If unions are bad for culture how are they #2 on the list?

#9 Wegmans Food Markets—The Teamsters represent over 900 Wegmans employees in the warehouse, skilled trades and transportation divisions.

#10 Harley-Davidson—Members of the Machinists (IAM) and United Steelworkers (USW) who work for the motorcycle manufacturer are paid living wages compared to manufacturing workers in many parts of the world.

#17 Fire Department, City of New York—The Uniformed Firefighters Association of NYC is the labor union which represents about 9,000 active NYC/FDNY Firefighters (and as many as 25,000 members overall, including retired NYC Firefighters). There are quite a few JetBlue Flight Attendants from the FDNY. These crewmembers have benefited from their union. Will they support a union of Flight Attendants too?

#18 Southwest AirlinesTWU Local 556 is the union for over 13,000 Southwest Flight Attendants who happen to have an industry leading contract too.

#19 JetBlue Airways—The 2,600+ pilots at JetBlue are unionized under ALPA. The pilots will negotiate and collectively bargain for their own contract and even get to vote on it. But, somehow if the Flight Attendants attempt to build their own union that would be bad for the culture?

Unions don’t weaken culture they make them stronger. If this wasn’t the case the many of the above companies wouldn’t be on the list.