JetBlue Fleet Service workers are searching for a union election

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

Robert Alexander | Archive Photos | Getty Images

A major airline union said on Friday it had enough support among JetBlue Airways’ approximately 3,000 fleet service workers to request a union vote on the latest move to organize workers.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said it would petition the National Arbitration Committee for a union vote. The working group includes baggage handlers and other ground operations staff.

A vote could push the third major working group at the New York-based airline to unionize. JetBlue’s pilots and flight attendants are already unionized. It would come amid a wave of union votes at companies from Amazon to Starbucks.

A vote could also take place as JetBlue seeks to take over low-cost airline Spirit Airlines, where more than 80% of workers are unionized, compared to JetBlue’s 46%, annual company filings show.

“The IAM has sufficient 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’s statement.

Most major airlines are already largely represented by unions, although some airlines such as JetBlue are less so than some competitors.

Delta Air Lines is the largest US airline, most of whose workers are nonunion, although the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA launched a union campaign for the Atlanta-based airline’s flight attendants in 2019. Flight attendants had previously rejected unionisation.

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