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JetBlue fleet service workers demand union vote


A JetBlue (Embraer 190) passenger jet taxis at New York LaGuardia Airport, New York.

Robert Alexander | Stock Photos | Getty Images

A major airline union said on Friday it had enough support among some 3,000 JetBlue Airways fleet service employees to seek a unionization vote, in the latest move to organize workers.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said it would file a request for a union vote with the National Mediation Council. The task force includes baggage handlers and other ground operations employees.

A vote could create the New York-based airline’s third major labor force to unionize. JetBlue pilots and flight attendants are already unionized. It would come in a flurry of union votes at every company from Amazon to Starbucks.

A vote could also take place as JetBlue tries to acquire low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, where more than 80% of employees are represented by unions, compared to 46% for JetBlue, annual filings show. of the company.

“The IAM has enough interest among JetBlue Fleet Service workers to hold an election for union representation,” the union said in a statement.

JetBlue did not immediately comment on the IAM statement.

Most workers at major airlines are already largely represented by unions, although some carriers like JetBlue are less so than some competitors.

Delta Air Lines is the largest U.S. carrier whose workers are mostly unorganized, although the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA in 2019 launched a union campaign for flight attendants at the Atlanta-based carrier. Flight attendants had previously rejected unionization.

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