In the face of continued aggression from opponents throughout the country, the labor movement continues to actively operate within an airline industry that is presently more active profitable than it has ever been.
Airlines in the United States have shown profits each year since 2010 and reached profits of $25.6 billion for the year of 2015. These gains have been for the most part passed on to workers by way of improved contracts, and as seen by the nation’s biggest carrier American, raises that go well beyond what has been agreed upon.
Eighty-five percent of workers for American Airlines are members of a union.
The success of labor union in the airline industry seems to contradict the views of Republican lawmakers that seek to limit labor protections in the country. The main tactics used by these lawmakers is the implementation of right to work laws that allow for workers to receive union benefits with no obligation to become a member of a union or pay dues to a union.
As of present unions are required to wait on the National Mediation Board to make decisions pertaining to the work interests of JetBlue flight attendants and caterers for United Airlines. Pilots working for JetBlue have become frustrated with the pace of contract talks and on Wednesday staged a demonstration at the airline’s headquarters in Long Island, New York.
JetBlue, which began operations in 2000 did not have labor unions for workers until 2014. The Airline Pilots Association has now organized pilots that work for the company and has been in negotiations with JetBlue to improve contracts for pilots since March 2015.
It is estimated that about 700 of the 3500 pilots that are working at JetBlue took part in the demonstrations.
Patrick Walsh, Chairman of the JetBlue chapter of the ALPA explains that the pilots have become “frustrated’ with the slow-moving process of the negotiations.