April 21, 2016
By Stephanie West
Washington, DC – International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) General Vice President Sito Pantoja issued the following statement regarding the proposed merger of Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Airlines:
“As expected, the industry consolidation among the major airlines is being repeated by smaller carriers trying to survive. While this announcement proposes a merger, the final outcome will not be known for some time. The Machinists Union and our members have been through countless airline mergers. While executives talk about shareholders value and route structures, the Machinists Union’s sole focus in the transaction is to make sure employees are not disadvantaged.”
The IAM represents 3,600 Alaska Airline Ramp Service, Customer Service, Office & Clerical, Reservation and Stores Agents at the Seattle-based carrier. Virgin Atlantic employees in similar classifications are non-union. Union representation at a merged carrier would not be determined until a transaction is completed and the National Mediation Board determines the two airlines are operating as a single carrier for union representation purposes. The Machinists Union is the world’s largest airline union.