Clarification has been quite slow on this question.
But let's look at FACTS:
1. While it may be true that 7 ITMs will make up a committee of union reps to meet with management at Virgin America to negotiate a contract, it's also true that these ITMs will report back and get advice from TWU reps and the lawyers they employ. It's their experience with other airlines, and their legal counsel, the ITMs will rely upon to negotiate a contract. This is why the process of a contract will take at minimum one year, realistically 3-4 years, and in the case of now-bankrupt airline ATA, 6+ years. (They went bankrupt before a contract could be worked out, leaving the flight attendants with a pay & benefits freeze throughout that process - for over SIX YEARS before they all lost their jobs.)
2. 30% of YOUR money will go to TWU National. This means that in addition to argument #1, by definition, TWU is indeed a third party because one third of your dues will go to the national level of this Labor Union. That money goes to all kinds of causes, including causes to contest other airlines' ownership. (If you read HERE halfway down the page, you'd remember a southwest TWU rep was quoted saying, "I heard some of your ITMs want a union, I hope they win so we can get our money back from trying to shut you guys down two years ago." Enough said.
3. You are required to follow the TWU's National Constitution. If you read the page HERE, you'd remember that you are very
expressly forbidden from speaking out against your union. Read the quote directly from the TWU national constitution below for the real deal:
ARTICLE XIX - Discipline
SECTION 5. The following enumerated acts are set forth as typifying conduct unbecoming a member of the Union. This enumeration shall not be construed to exclude from disciplinary action other forms of unbecoming conduct.
(c) Advocating or attempting to bring about the withdrawal or disaffiliation from the International Union of any Local Union or any member or group of members;
ARTICLE XX - Trial of Members
SECTION 1. In the event that the Local Executive Board decides that the charges warrant a trial, the Local Executive Board shall elect a Trial Committee of three members in good standing and shall designate a member in good standing to present the charges before the Trial Committee.
SECTION 11. A member who is under suspension from membership, including a temporary suspension pending hearing or trial, shall be required to pay all dues during the period of suspension.
All of this can be read in
SO, in conclusion, if you are required to have all of the terms of your contract negotiated through lawyers and national TWU reps; and 30% of your dues will NOT stay local (with Virgin America and its causes); and you are required to follow a National Constitution you had no part in ratifying or contributing to; THEN, by definition it is blatantly clear:
TWU IS A THIRD PARTY.
If they would just admit this very obvious FACT, we could all move on to the other questions. However, it has been their practice to be unclear and to waffle on specifics. Is THIS the organization you want representing YOU on issues absolutely ciritical to your employment and your quality of life?
NO ONE represents YOU better than YOU!
VOTE NO on TWU.
You're NOT Alone
Don't be afraid to speak up! And don't be ashamed to LOVE your Airline - after all, they pay your paycheck every month and you've got amazing, passionate, fun coworkers. They put their full faith in YOU when they hired you! No job is perfect, and Virgin America isn't either.
Despite what you may have heard, there are LOTS of ITMs who are voting NO. A 59% MAJORITY voted NO last time!
Whether you feel that we don't need a union at all, or you feel that we're better off researching other options (other unions, or an in-house/independent association), WE are your Fellow ITMs who will vote NO to TWU.
What do they make? Here's where some of YOUR dues would go, if we voted TWU in as our third party representatives:
Please send us YOUR testimonial, video clip, or anonymous comments on why you feel strongly we should vote NO on TWU.
Send your contributions to: