Friday, May 05, 2006

Jet Blue Baggage Handlers Want to Unionize

It looks like everything may not be rosy at Jet Blue, as word filters out that the baggage handles have filed a petition with the National Mediation Board to stage a union election.  The certification process, which is the prelude to an election, will likely take at least a month.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union said that it was approach by the Jet Blue baggage handlers, in essence pointing out that this was an inside campaign and not an external organizing one.

Complaints seem to include:  no paid sick leave, no paid vacation, no pension plan.

Jet Blue denies the claims, saying that all Jet Blue employees receive paid time off based on the numbers of years of employment.  Since the company is fairly young, I think that it's safe to say, there's no one around with lots of time on the books.  The company also claims that there is a company matching 401(k) and profit sharing plan.

As always, in these situations both sides are spinning the story to best suit their needs.  The truth lies somewhere middle. 

What this does indicate, however, is that Jet Blue will have to face the same labor issues that other carriers have been facing for years.

Stand by.  I think these issues are just beginning.

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