Our TWU Local 579 Members and TWU International have taken the position that the hostile takeover of Spirit by JetBlue is not in the best interest of our Members, validated by our Feb 2023 survey results. The TWU International has seen this movie before, and unfortunately, they have watched when a merger or acquisition happens, they must protect us as members with negotiated language that protects us either way. History has also proven that C-Suite executives leave with their golden parachutes and pockets lined while the workforce, us, bear the brunt of consolidated operations, base closures, involuntary displacements, furloughs, etc. Your TWU Local 579 has repeatedly stated (and picketed) that we could support the acquisition if we see JetBlue stepping up and taking care of us, the Flight Attendants they already have, before we add over 5,000 Spirit Flight Attendants. JetBlue needs to meet the priorities of Local 579 and The TWU International for our future – not simply bring Spirit up to the standard we set in our first contract with JetBlue.
As most of you are aware, The TWU International was approached by JetBlue management and asked that they reconsider the Union's position on JetBlue’s acquisition of Spirit. Immediately after that ask, TWU International notified Local 579 of the Company's ask. Both Local 579 and the TWU International expressed to the Company our concerns several times. TWU International expressed concerns that they had encountered from their vast experience, while Local 579 expressed concerns that we heard from our Members. Several discussions have since taken place, yet JetBlue has yet to provide the necessary assurances needed to protect us as Union Members. Should the Company fail on its business plan, with or without the acquisition of Spirit, we have little confidence the Company will properly honor the contract, and the terms they are asking us to consider would provide little (if any) protection - should JetBlue file for bankruptcy protection.
While it is highly unusual to negotiate outside of Section 6 bargaining of the Railway Labor Act, we are in a unique position with the impending acquisition. Joanna publicly admitted during an anti-union rant that the Company recognizes we are underpaid by 17%. If so, why wouldn’t Joanna just agree to pay us 17% more for us to take a neutral position on their acquisition of Spirit? It’s a simple attempt to divide and conquer. What we cannot, and must never do, is fall into that trap and let JetBlue management divide us.
We unionized because we were tired of being abused, not being listened to, having no recourse, and having no leverage. Now that we are unionized, have ratified our first CBA, and have leverage because we are unionized - we have the opportunity to create more leverage by standing strong against JetBlue management, who, through their actions, have shown us that they don’t care about us, our Company, or our well-being.
This is why we ask you to stand strong with the TWU in opposition to the company's rhetoric and sales pitches. Bid off on October 16th, 2023, stand in an informational picket line with us, and let the DOJ know we are not being taken care of! #FixOurHouseFirst