TWU's Virgin America organizing team stands in front of the projected election results at the headquarters of the National Mediation Board in Washington, DC.
Presenting TWU's newest members... Virgin America ITMs!
In a decisive election vote on Wednesday, the 900 flight attendants at Virgin America chose TWU union membership and a brighter future for themselves and their families. In doing so, they made history at the airline. Until today, Virgin held the distinction of being the largest U.S. air carrier to have an entire workforce completely without union protections on the job.
"Over the past few months, management threw everything it could at the workers to try to get them to vote no," said International President Harry Lombardo. "It didn’t work because Virgin America flight attendants were committed to securing the representation they deserve."
"We congratulate our new members on staying united throughout the campaign and pulling through with a decisive win. Their hard work has paid off!"
Virgin America ITMs with TWU International Executive Vice President / TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen, holding the official election results.
In a message to Inflight Team Members (ITMs)—the airline's unique title for its flight attendants, embraced by the workers—TWU's flight attendant organizing committee said: “In the coming days we will begin the process of contacting our company as a union, creating an ITM-elected negotiating team, surveying our Members, writing language for our proposed contract, and establishing vital resources on which to build our new union.”
“We’re excited about what this election means for Inflight Team Members,” said Adam Croteau, a Virgin America flight attendant who served on the organizing committee. “We ran a very positive campaign, and we believe that we can make positive changes at the airline by giving flight attendants a voice.”
Moments after the results are announced, the organizing team spreads the word on a conference call for Virgin America ITMs.
On July 28, Virgin America announced its plans to go public after posting a profit of $37 million in the second quarter of this year. “Virgin is one of the largest and most profitable airlines in the industry,” said TWU International Executive Vice President and Local 100 President John Samuelsen. “It's the workers who built that success, and TWU’s next move will be negotiating a contract for our newest members, the Inflight Team Members employed by Virgin America.”
“I am beyond ecstatic,” said Virgin flight attendant Jeremy Schoggins. “This isn‘t us versus the company. Our voting process was very friendly—we even hugged our management team [after hearing the results of the election]! We want to build this airline with them, and we support the Virgin America brand 100 percent.”