Machinists Union on Alaska Airlines, Virgin America Deal

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) General Vice President Sito Pantoja today issued the following statement regarding the proposed Alaska Airlines merger with Virgin America Airlines:

“As expected, the industry consolidation among the major airlines is being repeated by smaller carriers trying to survive. While today’s announcement proposes a merger, the final outcome will not be known for some time. The Machinists Union and our members have been through countless airline mergers. While executives talk about shareholders value and route structures, the Machinists Union’s sole focus in this merger is to make sure employees are not disadvantaged.”

The IAM represents 3,600 Alaska Airline Ramp Service, Customer Service, Office & Clerical, Reservation and Stores Agents at the Seattle-based carrier. Virgin Atlantic employees in similar classifications are non-union. Union representation at a merged carrier would not be determined until the transaction is completed and the  National Mediation Board determines the two airlines are operating as a single carrier for union representation purposes.

The Machinists Union is the world’s largest airline union. More information about the Machinists Union at Alaska Airlines is available at