Flight attendants at Virgin America are looking for an upgrade of their own. This week, after an overwhelming number of the 650 flight attendants at the airline signed union authorization cards, they filed a petition with the National Mediation Board (NMB) for representation with the Transport Workers (TWU).
The low-coast airline is known for its high quality and innovative onboard service. Ramon Wood, a Virgin flight attendant based at New York’s JFK, says:
We’re very proud that Virgin America wins high marks from travelers, based on the service we provide. We believe we can make service better for passengers and elevate working conditions for in-flight team members by having a voice in our dealings with the company. Right now we’re seldom heard and our concerns are not addressed.
Founded by British media and transportation mogul Richard Branson, the airline began U.S. operations in 2007 and flies to 12 U.S. cities and three locations in Mexico. Flight attendants at Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airlines and subsidiary Virgin Australia have voted to form unions with British and Australian labor unions.
TWU Organizing Director Frank MacCann says:
We’re here to support Virgin America flight attendants in every way we can. We fully expect management at Virgin American to respect the decision made by the majority of flight attendants to seek union representation, and we look forward to a fast and fair election campaign.
The election will be conducted under new democratic procedures approved by the NMB in 2010 which specify that elections will be decided by a simple majority of those voting. In the past, any worker who did not vote was counted as a “No” ballot. Click here for more the campaign at Virgin America.