Union vies to represent Virgin America flight attendants


The TWU said employees at Virgin America, which it said has 650 flight attendants who are based in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, needed the assistance of a union.

"Flying Virgin can be enjoyable for passengers but flight attendants have a very different experience,” TWU organizing director Frank McCann said in a statement. “Work rules are inconsistently enforced, promises regarding rest, vacation and benefits are often broken, and discipline for minor violations can be unnecessarily harsh and inconsistently applied.

“It’s become difficult for flight attendants, who helped build this company, to believe what management tells them," McCann continued. "Flight attendants realize that the only way they can improve their working conditions is to form a union.”

Virgin America is a low-fare airline that was launched in 2007. It is based in California, and is owned in part by British company Virgin Group.

The TWU is also pushing to organize workers at JetBlue Airlines. Additionally, flight attendants at AirTran Airways will join the group as a result of that company's merger with Southwest Airlines.

Under current rules, the NMB must schedule an election within 45 days of receive a petition for a union vote.

Republicans in the House have introduced legislation to defund the NMB as a result of the Boeing case. The GOP has argued the board has been partisan in rulings like the Boeing case.

TWU organizing director McCann expressed confidence his union would win the election once it is scheduled by the NMB.

“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," he said.