Breeze Airways Flight Attendants Vote To Unionize

Breeze Airways Flight Attendants Vote To Unionize

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Flight attendants at Breeze Airways have just voted to unionize, roughly three years after the airline launched…

Breeze flight attendants join the AFA union

Breeze Airways flight attendants have just voted to join the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA). The election was certified by the National Mediation Board (NMB), with 76.3% of participants voting in favor of unionization.

Breeze has around 650 flight attendants, based in Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. The union states that it hopes to tackle issues with constantly changing work rules, substandard pay, inadequate hotel accommodations, insufficient work hours, and inconsistent and disrespectful treatment from management.

This development also follows an August 2022 vote among pilots at Breeze, to join the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). With this, all major work groups at Breeze are now unionized.

Here’s how, Robynne Martino, a member of Breeze’s AFA Organizing Committee, describes this development:

“Management broke out all the tired old union busting, but together we weren’t intimidated or fooled. Our work group spoke clearly. It’s time for Breeze to treat us with the dignity we earn every day on the line. We call on management to come to the table and negotiate a fair contract without delay.”

Meanwhile here’s how Sara Nelson, President of AFA International (and often referred to as the world’s most powerful flight attendant), describes this development:

“Breeze Flight Attendants filed for an election two weeks after taking their campaign public in January and kept organizing together to turn out a clear mandate to address their concerns at work. Today they gain the legal right to bargain and have a voice in their future at Breeze. We are inspired by their solidarity and thrilled to welcome them to our AFA family. Our labor movement is growing. Everywhere.”

Good for Breeze Airways flight attendants!

I don’t have particularly strong feelings on unions, other than believing that workers have the right to collective bargaining, and if they feel being part of a union would help them, they should vote accordingly.

For example, Delta flight attendants aren’t unionized, and I think that seems like the right decision for them. That’s because Delta generally takes a good faith approach when it comes to labor. The airline wants its employees to have among the best overall compensation in the industry, and offers generous profit sharing as well as proactive pay raises.

Historically Delta flight attendants have been the best compensated in the industry, and I imagine that will continue to be the case, even if unions at competing airlines negotiate new contracts. If Delta flight attendants aren’t paid competitively anymore, then they absolutely will unionize.

But Breeze Airways hasn’t taken the same approach to labor relations as Delta. I’m not sure how things have changed since launch, but it seems like the airline almost hired flight attendants in a way that was intended to limit their potential. The airline initially hired flight attendants who were enrolled in online university, and put them in shared company housing, with shockingly low pay.

That has definitely changed since then, but it seemed pretty clear that Breeze was focused on any possible method that would limit total compensation. So it also shouldn’t be a surprise that if the airline looks to cut corners with flight attendant pay where it can, then it’ll also lead to unionization.

Breeze has had some questionable labor strategies

Bottom line

Breeze Airways flight attendants have voted to unionize, with over 76% of flight attendants voting in favor of joining the AFA. This follows Breeze’s pilots voting to unionize back in August 2022. When Breeze launched, it seemed that low labor costs were a big priority. That only works for so long, though, as the airline is now finding out.

What do you make of Breeze flight attendants unionizing?

Conversations (22)
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  1. UncleRonnie Gold

    SouthWest scrum for seats on a 2-3 plane like the A220 will be even more punchy than on their usual 3-3 airframes.

  2. Barbarella Guest

    I don't see how this will prevent them from being acquired by Southwest (which apparently has its sights on their A220s, delivered and slots).

    If anything theyll get better protection in case Southwest just wants the planes and none of the employees.

    1. ImmortalSynn Guest

      "which apparently has its sights on their A220s, delivered and slots"
      "Southwest just wants the planes"

      What is this based on?

      Southwest indicating that they are actively looking at the A220 (or any fleet type other than the 737) would be headline news on every aviation website and publication out there. Yet that's not happening. So unless you have a citation of some kind, this sounds more like fantasy than reality.

    2. Barbarella Guest

      Here you go...
      https://leehamnews.com/2024/05/06/44478/

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      How about an actual news source?

    4. Barbarella Guest

      Have you checked Leeham News recently?
      They have an article on that specifically and they are usually well informed.

      I have a comment that's still in moderation limbo probably because it had a link to the article in it. So trying without the link to see if it goes through

    5. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      LOL, a blog... offering pure supposition... derived from a meeting by OEM teams (that's a near annual thing between Airbus and Southwest, just like between Boeing and Delta) with zero knowledge of what was said, done, or transacted?

      So in other words, still no source. Figured, but thought I'd ask anyway. :)

    6. Barbarella Guest

      Yeah it's a rumour, but employees at Breeze hear rumours as well and that helps give more context as to why the employees decided to unionize.

      Now, about your aggressive and entitled attitude, I'm a bit surprised as there was no such animosity in my message. I hope you soon fix whatever seems to be amiss in your life so you don't need to go online to vent it on strangers. Take care

    7. Paper Boarding Pass Guest

      So the new name will be:

      "SouthwestBreeze"
      or
      "SouthwestAzul"
      or
      "AzulWest"

  3. Exit Row Seat Guest

    Not surprised pilots went union. That is a given!!

    However, for 76.3% of FAs to vote union for a 3 year old airline, something must be amiss at Breeze. Either salary is too low, or mandatory attendance of college (on line) while working can be a burden. Also, failure to complete degree as a reason for dismissal is pushing labor relations law to the edge. Is the degree essential to perform the duties of an...

    Not surprised pilots went union. That is a given!!

    However, for 76.3% of FAs to vote union for a 3 year old airline, something must be amiss at Breeze. Either salary is too low, or mandatory attendance of college (on line) while working can be a burden. Also, failure to complete degree as a reason for dismissal is pushing labor relations law to the edge. Is the degree essential to perform the duties of an FA?

    Doesn't matter to me. I live in one of their focus cities, and where they fly and their lack of frequency points me to one of the Big 4 airlines. Most folks in my city are not even aware of Breeze!!

  4. JustinB Member

    Unions played an important role in advancing fair labor in the 20th century. Now they are a money-grabbing worthless endeavor that adds strain to employee relationships. Rather than having an honest conversation with 'management' it's straight to 100% escalation. If you don't think the company you work for treats you fair go somewhere else... I cant stand unions today. United pilots that walk off a wide-body with an 'over worked and under paid' lanyard on...

    Unions played an important role in advancing fair labor in the 20th century. Now they are a money-grabbing worthless endeavor that adds strain to employee relationships. Rather than having an honest conversation with 'management' it's straight to 100% escalation. If you don't think the company you work for treats you fair go somewhere else... I cant stand unions today. United pilots that walk off a wide-body with an 'over worked and under paid' lanyard on I just want to punch in the face.

    1. Julia Guest

      "Now they are a money-grabbing worthless endeavor"

      Not all unions. As with anything else, some are better than others.

    2. CoryCesar New Member

      @Julia, let's hope so for all involved. But my money's on the 'cos turbulence-induced' Candy Crush marathons beginning.

  5. Esther Lewis Guest

    Disappointing. I'll refrain from flying this airline in the future, hate unionis!

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      You sound like a completely serious and rational person........

    2. Esther Lewis Guest

      You sound like a petulant little brat... CONTINENTAL DISGRACE!!! I see what Darryl Stewart was talking about!

  6. George Romey Guest

    In other words union management will live very well on members dues and do really nothing. Newsflash this is an airlines struggling to make it. Let's see how well the flight attendants do when the airline folds.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ George Romey -- I'm a little confused. If you think the union will do "nothing" (in other words, not get a more generous contract), then how would that lead to the airline folding?

    2. Paper Boarding Pass Guest

      @Ben

      Since Breeze is not listed (public stock), it's not required to fully disclose (GAAP) its financials. OMAAT had a big write up of the cash flow at Breeze. If and when the airlines goes public (IPO), it will be required to bring its books in compliance with full disclosure with supplemental schedules. At that time, we'll get an idea where the cash is spent.

    3. Paper Boarding Pass Guest

      Sorry....I think it was VFTW....mea culpa !!!

    4. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Paper Boarding Pass -- No, I think it was here. Is this the post you're referring to?
      https://onemileatatime.com/news/breeze-airways-losing-money/

    5. Gentleman Jack Darby Guest

      Best to leave the accounting commentary to the accountants.

      "GAAP" (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) is a noun, not a verb.

      Disclosure to the public, or the lack thereof, in the case of a closely-held (non-public) company doesn't mean that a company's financial statements don't follow GAAP. Most likely Breeze's financial statements do follow GAAP and are audited as well.

      Simply because Breeze isn't required to make their financial statements public doesn't mean that the public...

      Best to leave the accounting commentary to the accountants.

      "GAAP" (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) is a noun, not a verb.

      Disclosure to the public, or the lack thereof, in the case of a closely-held (non-public) company doesn't mean that a company's financial statements don't follow GAAP. Most likely Breeze's financial statements do follow GAAP and are audited as well.

      Simply because Breeze isn't required to make their financial statements public doesn't mean that the public should infer that there's anything wrong with their, as it was so quaintly put, "books" (accounting systems). "Books" don't comply with GAAP, financial statements do; and financial statements don't comply with disclosure requirements, companies do.

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Gentleman Jack Darby Guest

Best to leave the accounting commentary to the accountants. "GAAP" (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) is a noun, not a verb. Disclosure to the public, or the lack thereof, in the case of a closely-held (non-public) company doesn't mean that a company's financial statements don't follow GAAP. Most likely Breeze's financial statements do follow GAAP and are audited as well. Simply because Breeze isn't required to make their financial statements public doesn't mean that the public should infer that there's anything wrong with their, as it was so quaintly put, "books" (accounting systems). "Books" don't comply with GAAP, financial statements do; and financial statements don't comply with disclosure requirements, companies do.

3
ImmortalSynn Guest

"which apparently has its sights on their A220s, delivered and slots" "Southwest just wants the planes" What is this based on? Southwest indicating that they are actively looking at the A220 (or any fleet type other than the 737) would be headline news on every aviation website and publication out there. Yet that's not happening. So unless you have a citation of some kind, this sounds more like fantasy than reality.

1
Barbarella Guest

Yeah it's a rumour, but employees at Breeze hear rumours as well and that helps give more context as to why the employees decided to unionize. Now, about your aggressive and entitled attitude, I'm a bit surprised as there was no such animosity in my message. I hope you soon fix whatever seems to be amiss in your life so you don't need to go online to vent it on strangers. Take care

0
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