Breeze flight attendants file plans to unionize

Breeze Airways Flight Attendants Seek Unionization Vote

Breeze Airways, the low-cost carrier founded by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, is facing a unionization campaign by its flight attendants. The flight attendants filed paperwork on Monday to hold a unionization vote, following in the footsteps of the airline’s pilots who voted to unionize earlier this year.

The flight attendants are seeking to form a collective bargaining unit with the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. This move comes after frustrations with work rules, below-industry-standard pay rates, inconsistent hotel accommodations during layovers, and what they describe as disrespectful treatment from management.

The campaign for unionization in the aviation industry follows a standard process overseen by the National Mediation Board. The majority of a potential bargaining unit must express support for unionizing before the board will grant an election. At this stage, it is unclear how many of Breeze Airways’ flight attendants are in favor of forming a union.

In a statement, AFA President Sara Nelson expressed the flight attendants’ determination to secure their rights and a secure future at Breeze Airways with a union contract. The flight attendants are eager to have a real voice and ensure fair treatment in their workplace.

Breeze Airways, which began operations in 2021, is known for its point-to-point business model. Unlike traditional airlines, Breeze avoids hubs and focuses on direct flights between city pairs that do not have competing nonstop service. This strategy allows the airline to offer more convenient options to travelers.

When Breeze first launched, it planned to recruit college students as flight attendants and provide tuition reimbursement. However, the practice received criticism from the AFA, who claimed it diminished the profession of flight attendants and violated federal labor laws. Breeze has since abandoned the program and now hires both full-time and part-time career flight attendants.

The airline initially operated short flights using Embraer jets leased from Azul Airlines, another carrier founded by Neeleman. However, Breeze has expanded its fleet with the addition of Airbus A220 aircraft, which has the range to connect any two cities in the continental U.S. This has allowed Breeze to expand its operations and offer longer-range routes between smaller airports.

The unionization efforts by Breeze Airways flight attendants come at a time when the aviation industry is experiencing significant changes and challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the industry, leading to layoffs, pay cuts, and changes in work conditions. Flight attendants, like many other workers in the industry, are seeking better job security, fair compensation, and improved working conditions through collective bargaining.

In conclusion, Breeze Airways flight attendants have taken steps to hold a unionization vote, following the lead of the airline’s pilots who voted to unionize earlier this year. The flight attendants are seeking fair treatment, improved work conditions, and a secure future through collective bargaining. These efforts reflect the larger changes and challenges in the aviation industry, as workers strive for better rights and protections in their workplace.

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