The Misinformed Vice President of JetBlue Inflight Experience

Dear Rachel,

Unfortunately you are misinformed about dues. Under TWU there are no dues paid until the work group accepts the tentative agreement. Maybe you can clarify that in your next anti-union email. Allegiant Air Flight Attendants have not paid a cent in dues while they’ve been negotiating a contract. The Virgin Flight Attendants won’t pay a cent either until they have a contract. For some work groups it does take a long time to get a contract because their Management fights tooth and nail to drag the process along. This is happening at Allegiant. We doubt JetBlue Leadership would do this when negotiating a contract with us since we’re different and Leadership cares so much about us.

Misinformed

How are we supposed to make an informed decision if you keep misinforming us?

Additionally can you enlighten us on which Inflight polices are industry leading? Last time we checked…

-Our leave was the worst in the industry but has changed to two years—the industry average is five. Do our pilots get five too?

-We have the highest extended duty day (18 hours) in the industry with no compensatory compensation.

-After five years of service our base rate is $5 or more below the industry average.

-Do JetBlue Flight Attendants log more hours per month than any other major airline? If so why? Is it because we have the lowest Flight Attendant to aircraft ratio? Is it because we have to make up for the below average base rate? Is it because we are improperly staffed?

-Flights clearing customs at all major airlines receive 30 minutes of pay/block time—we receive $2 and it remains at 15 minutes even though it takes longer.

-We were thrilled to find out when operating the A321 to come it 10 minutes early. Leadership will figure out how to compensate us later. This is total disregard for our time at work and disrespectful to us. 10 minutes adds up over the course of a month! How about we have everyone in the company come in 10 minutes early? That’s only fair.

-We clean our planes. The reality is that it is Inflight Crewmembers who clean the planes with our Pilots and everyone else helping less and less. We’re used to it but how many millions of dollars is JetBlue saving/making by us doing the dirty work?

The reality is our pay—our total compensation does not reflect the amount of work we provide to the company. It doesn’t reflect the countless hours we remain on duty and the award winning service that we provide. We deserve better than below average!

We hope when the compensation changes are announced the end of September that our work group is provided with clear and detailed comparisons to show just how we compare to the rest of the industry. The reality is we are below the industry average in so many major areas. If we’re mistaken please educate us—certainly you must have all that information somewhere? Please tell us specifically what has JetBlue done for JetBlue Flight Attendants that is industry leading or above industry average?

We think what’s special at JetBlue is that the company has one of the cheapest and flexible Flight Attendant work groups in the industry. It’s been actually been written about in aviation books and case studies. That’s great for profits but not the quality of life of a Flight Attendant.

You keep using the term “third party representation”. Under TWU each union is run locally—each union is autonomous. It will be JetBlue Flight Attendants that are elected to run the union. It will be JetBlue Flight Attendants that meet and survey Inflight. It will be JetBlue Flight Attendants that go in and negotiate with Management. That doesn’t sound like a third party to us. It sounds like a Union run by JetBlue Flight Attendants and backed by the experience and leverage of the Transport Workers Union—a union that has done good for front-line labor for many years.

JetBlue is special and it is great but we also know your job is to keep us unorganized. We understand and respect that. There are limitations to what you can do because someone else is making the final decisions. It would also look bad on your resume if the work group you oversee forms a union. We understand why you might be concerned. But this isn’t about you—this is about us. This is about taking care of us—and we can do that through establishing a professional union—just like so many other working professionals have done! The reality is unions are good. If they weren’t then they wouldn’t still be around. If they weren’t then the Allegiant Flight Attendants, Virgin America Flight Attendants and our very own Pilots wouldn’t have all recently voted to join one!

It seems like whoever is in charge just wants cheap and flexible Flight Attendants—all the comparisons that we’ve put out point to that. We desire what’s best for our coworkers because the best part of our job is working with each other. JetBlue is a great company. If Inflight is having record sick calls then that’s a red flag that something is wrong—that’s a reflection of how we’re being treated. That’s reflection of policies, pay and rules that focus only on profits but not the success and quality of life of the individual Flight Attendant.

We have witnessed and experienced enough to know that we need a union. Rachel if you have questions about TWU, union dues or the negotiating process please contact an organizer so they can educate you on the process so you can be better informed and then better inform us.

If you are a JetBlue Flight Attendant and wish for us to have an election please follow these three easy steps:

1) Send in a new authorization card for 2014. If you’ve never signed a card before we need it too.

2) Talk about the campaign and the importance of the cards on every trip. Since Rachel just misinformed our entire work group it’s important that you educate everyone about dues and when they begin.

3) Help collect cards. Signed authorization cards from a large majority is the only way to have an election. To request cards please visit our official campaign website and fill out this form.