WASHINGTON—About 4,800 JetBlue flight attendants traveled to Washington Dec. 6 to file a petition with the National
Mediation Board requesting the right to vote on joining the Transport Workers Union. “This is the biggest and most important organizing drive in the airline industry in decades,” TWU President John Samuelsen told the New York Daily News. “Increasing numbers of workers are realizing that they have to unite against the right-wing politicians and the greedy, multibillion-dollar corporations.” “We don’t have a seat at the table,” a Boston-based flight attendant told Forbes. “Policy changes are made arbitrarily without the flight attendants’ best interest at heart.” JetBlue, which began flying in 2000 and is now the largest carrier at Kennedy International Airport, successfully resisted unions until 2014, when 71% of its pilots voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association. In September, after the company learned of the TWU organizing campaign, vice president John Culp sent flight-crew workers an email calling the union “an opportunistic and negative third party” with a history of “criminal behavior.” The election will probably come early in 2018, TWU organizing director Steve Roberts told Forbes.