Machinists Union Open Letter to JetBlue CEO

Organizing
16 November 2022

Via U.S. Mail and Email

Robin Hayes, CEO, JetBlue Airways Inc.
27-01 Queens Plaza North
Long Island City, NY 11101

Dear CEO Hayes:

On September 23, 2022, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO (“IAM”), submitted an application to represent the JetBlue Fleet Service employees. The National Mediation Board (“NMB”) has docketed that matter as case number R-7602.

On September 26, 2022, the NMB provided JetBlue with the notices that must be posted in all stations. According to the information we have received, JetBlue has failed to post the notice in at least three locations in a timely manner, including JFK Airport, Orlando, and Los Angeles. Please confirm that you will immediately post these notices today.

That notice is important because it reminds all workers, including JetBlue supervisors, that the carrier must maintain the status quo under federal law at this time.

“All employees are free to express their desire to be represented by a labor organization or to be unrepresented. The Carrier is not permitted to influence, interfere or coerce employees in any manner in an effort to induce them to participate or refrain from participating in an election should there be one.”

Unfortunately, we are receiving reports that there may be efforts to influence or intimidate employees at JetBlue by Vice President of Airports Experience, Dana Shapir, and perhaps others.

We are advised that despite the fact that JetBlue has a well-established schedule of pay increases, Ms. Shapir has threatened that workers would not receive the 2023 scheduled raises if the workers support the union.

First, we should be clear. The IAM does NOT object to JetBlue providing the already scheduled pay increases. Indeed, it is our position you are legally obligated to do so until we negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the workers. Second, please remind your managers that threatening employees with removing benefits because of their support for the union violates federal law.

We further understand that supervisors in Boston have been asking workers about their union support. We expect JetBlue to remind their supervisors that interrogation of workers regarding their union support is also unlawful.

The IAM will protect the right of these employees to organize and join together for the purpose of representation and collective bargaining, and it is our firm commitment to defend such rights to the fullest extent of the law.

By law, these employees are granted the following rights:

  • The right to join the union and to ask others to join the union.
  • The right to attend union meetings and to ask others to attend union meetings.
  • The right to wear a union pin on the job so long as it does not carry a controversial slogan or violate company policy or uniform requirements.
  • The right to hand out union leaflets on the employee’s own time in non-work areas and break rooms and to post such leaflets and information on the employees’ bulletin board in break rooms.
  • The right to assist in, and encourage others to support, the union, so long as such efforts do not interfere with work or violate posted company policy.
  • The right to discuss the union during work just the same as they can talk about family, the weather, the latest sports scores, or industry news.
  • The right to engage in organizing activity, like urging coworkers to vote for the union, before and after work, and during breaks, in break rooms, parking lots, and other non-work areas at the airport.

If, in the course of this election, you have any questions or concerns about the IAM’s activities, please do not hesitate to contact our Assistant Airline Coordinator, James Carlson at 202-500-3916. We look forward to a peaceful and smooth election.

Sincerely,

Richard Johnsen,
General Vice President, Air Transport Territory

cc:

Edison Fraser, COS
Tom Regan, AC
James Carlson, AAC

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