Breeze Flight Attendants Take Next Step in Unionizing

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Breeze flight attendants cited issues with management, pay and accommodations as reasons to unionize.

Breeze flight attendants filed the paperwork to unionize with the Association of Flight Attendants on Monday. 

The move comes nearly two weeks after Breeze flight attendants announced their organizing campaign. Some of the reasons why Breeze flight attendants said they wanted to unionize included issues with pay, a lack of hotel accommodations when away from bases, a changing set of workplace rules, and “disrespectful treatment from management.”

“Breeze Flight Attendants are proud of their work as aviation’s first responders and they are ready to lock in a real voice at their growing airline,” AFA International President Sara Nelson said in a statement. “Flight Attendants are not wasting any time organizing for legal rights on the job and a secure future at Breeze with a union contract. We’re with them all the way.”

Breeze pilots voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association in August 2022, and are currently negotiating a contract with management. 

After filing the paperwork, the next step for the flight attendants is to hold an election under the National Mediation Board, which is covered under the Railway Labor Act. In order for the National Mediation Board to hold an election, a majority of flight attendants in a bargaining unit must express support for unionizing. 

“Breeze Flight Attendants just showed management and the world that they are united behind a common purpose, and ready to do what’s necessary to secure dignity and voice at work,” said Nelson.

Breeze did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Breeze was founded in 2021 by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, who also created JetBlue and Azul in Brazil. The budget start-up operates a business model similar to that of Allegiant and Avelo, primarily flying between destinations with little to no commercial air service to popular leisure ones. 

The budget start-up controversially decided to recruit college students enrolled in Utah Valley University’s online program to be flight attendants through work-study programs in 2021. The AFA criticized the practice, with Nelson saying the practice violated federal labor laws in a letter to the university. Breeze soon ended the practice.  

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