JetBlue Pilots to Unionize
They had rejected the move twice before
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 22, 2014 6:04 PM CDT
JetBlue planes taxi on a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

(Newser) – The National Mediation Board said today that pilots at JetBlue voted overwhelmingly to unionize, reversing two earlier votes. The pilots will join the Air Line Pilots Association. Of the 96% of pilots eligible to vote, the association said 71% voted to unionize. JetBlue has more than 2,500 pilots. Both the airline and the pilot's union will now organize negotiating committees, said JetBlue CEO Dave Barger. ALPA President Capt. Lee Moak said the organizing campaign succeeded because the pilots wanted a collectively bargained contract and an advocate if their company becomes involved in a merger.

On a conference call with reporters, Moak declined to predict how long it would take to negotiate a contract with JetBlue or whether the vote would help unions woo other workers at the New York-based airline. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, billing itself as representing nearly 50,000 pilots and 31 airlines in the United States and Canada. Shares of JetBlue Airlines Corp. fell 17 cents, or 1.9%, to close at $8.59.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Lou Bernardo
Apr 29, 2014 9:57 AM CDT
The end of another airline is in sight.
Ultraworld
Apr 23, 2014 11:18 PM CDT
Over the last 15 yrs, commercial airline pilots have been getting screwed. They've taken up to 20% pay cuts, longer hours without proper rest. They've seen their pensions dry up as airlines have made billions. I want the best pilots in the cockpit when I'm flying, for the outrageous prices the airlines charge, they can afford it
Smellthecoffee
Apr 22, 2014 10:25 PM CDT
Maybe now pilots can get adequate rest between flights.