In a hotly contested election overseen by the National Mediation Board (NMB), nearly 220 Spirit Airlines ramp agents voted overwhelmingly, by 80 percent, to be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
The victorious ramp agents, who work at airports in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Detroit, MI, Atlantic City, NJ and Myrtle Beach, SC began their campaign for IAM representation this spring, and attained the requisite “showing of interest” shortly thereafter. The NMB scheduled a representation election that began June 16th.
“The days of Spirit management unilaterally dictating wages and working conditions ends today,” declared Daniel Krampert, a Spirit Ramp Agent in Atlantic City. “This vote begins a new era where we have a voice in determining our future.”
“I congratulate and welcome the ramp agents at Spirit Airlines into the IAM family,” said IAM Transportation GVP Sito Pantoja. “Every ramp agent at Spirit should know they now have the IAM’s full support and resources at their disposal to achieve the contract they deserve. I’d also like to thank District 141 Organizing Director Joe Stassi and his team for doing a great job on this campaign.”
The IAM prevailed over an aggressive anti-union campaign by Spirit management that included numerous and flagrant violations of the federal Railway Labor Act, including a sudden and significant pay raise for all employees, except the ramp agents seeking IAM representation. Federal labor law prohibits granting or withholding pay increases that are designed to influence the outcome of a union representation election.
“Ramp agents at Spirit should be applauded for their courage and conviction in seeking dignity, respect and fairness in their profession,” said District 141 President Rich Delaney. “Today’s victory over harassment and intimidation is a win for the entire labor movement.”
The IAM represents more than 110,000 fleet service, mechanics, flight attendants, customer service, reservation and related airline employees.
More information about the IAM’s Spirit Airlines organizing campaign is available www.iam4spirit.com.