SEATTLE May 21 Virgin America on Wednesday
called its flight attendants' drive to join a union detrimental
and said it expects the effort to fail like a similar vote two
The Burlingame, California-based airline's flight attendants
petitioned on Tuesday for a vote on whether to be represented by
the Transport Workers Union (TWU), a move that, if successful,
would leave no non-union airline in the U.S.
Since launching in 2007, Virgin America has focused on
"making flying good again," and "a third party like the TWU
would only detract from that," spokeswoman Jennifer Thomas said.
Flight attendants rejected a previous TWU organization drive
in December, 2011. "We're confident we'll see a similar outcome
this time," Thomas said.
The TWU said it had received signature cards from a majority
of the Virgin America flight attendants in a drive that began
last July, meeting the requirement set by the National Mediation
Board, which holds elections to determine which union, if any,
employees want to represent them. The prior drive began in 2009
under rules that required less than half of workers sign cards.
Virgin America flight attendants have raised concerns about
work rules and pay, said Thom McDaniel, a TWU international vice
president. "The employees really want to have a say in what
their work rules are," he said.
Virgin America has a fleet of 53 Airbus A320 jets
and recently reported its first full-year profit. It has orders
for 40 more Airbus planes.
(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Dan Grebler)