[Note: The following email was sent to all Virgin America InFlight Teammates at 9:30am PT on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.]
To: Virgin America InFlight Teammates
From: Jeffrey Peterson, AFA Alaska Master Executive Council President
Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the AFA Family, Virgin America InFlight Teammates!
We look forward to the National Mediation Board (NMB) certifying the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA) as your collective bargaining representative, and we expect that certification around April 14th or shortly thereafter. The 50,000 Flight Attendants from 20 airlines in AFA are very excited to include you and strengthen our union with your participation.
Sign Up for AFA Communications
Alaska Air Group management has allowed AFA to utilize the Virgin America email system in order to contact you. Going forward, we will steer away from using company email, so we encourage you to sign up for AFA communications using a private (non-Company) email address by following this link: http://afanewsletters.org/subscribe/.
Representation from your Ranks
As AFA members, you have the right to representation from your Flight Attendant ranks at Virgin America. Shortly after each of you signs an AFA membership application, we will begin elections for union officers. It is critical that you complete a membership application right away so that you can vote for your union officers.
We encourage all Virgin America InFlight Teammates (ITMs) to learn more about what it means to represent your flying partners and serve as an AFA leader. Your resources include the AFA International and AFA Alaska websites as well as the AFA-CWA Constitution & Bylaws.
In the meantime, the AFA International Officers will appoint two Virgin America ITMs to serve as Transitional President and Secretary of your new AFA Transitional Local Council at Virgin America.
We value your input and would be thrilled to hear from you by Wednesday, April 12th about who you would like to have appointed as Transitional Officers.
Please fill out this form to volunteer yourself or to recommend your flying partner for AFA Virgin America leadership > (Link removed.)
Transitional Officers serve for a period of approximately four to six months until elections can be held to fill those positions.
AFA is aware that non-represented employees typically receive wage increases around this time of year. We are very concerned that ITMs have not received a wage increase in several years, which currently places your pay at the bottom of the industry. Consequently, AFA and Alaska Airlines management have agreed to meet in order to discuss this subject at our earliest opportunity.
We anticipate the NMB’s certification of AFA as your representative as soon as April 14th, so the parties are tentatively planning to meet the following week. Your Transitional Local Council President will also represent you in those discussions, which is why it is so important for you to provide your input by completing the AFA Virgin America Recommendations for Appointed Leadership form. (Link removed.)
AFA Membership Application
The next step in continuing to build your strong Flight Attendant union is a membership drive. We will send an AFA Membership application to your mailing address on file with the company. Or, if you’d like to get a head start you may download and print the application from our website and send the completed form to the address printed on the application. We will send you an AFA pin and information about our union. Several of your flying partners and AFA officers at Alaska are helping with the membership drive by visiting the Virgin Villages and carrying membership applications and AFA pins to share with you as well.
If you would like to help with the membership drive and/or support AFA Virgin America in another capacity, please reply “I Want to Help!” to this newsletter.
Remember, you pay NO DUES until you vote on and approve a contract.
AFA Recognizes the Distinctive Culture at Virgin America
AFA recognizes the distinctive culture you have built at Virgin America, including the unique name for your role: Inflight Teammate. Going forward, AFA will be using the more traditional title of “Flight Attendant” in reference to our profession. Please know that AFA celebrates the culture at each of our carriers and will continue to do so throughout this merger between Virgin America and Alaska Airlines—and beyond.
Ask any question you may have and know that you are valued. We often remind each other in AFA: It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here for five minutes or thirty years. You are becoming a member of the Association of Flight Attendants and your union stands with you. We are Stronger Together, Better Together.
Once again, welcome to the AFA Family, Virgin America Flight Attendants!
AFA-CWA International President
AFA-CWA Alaska Master Executive Council President
Once the NMB certifies AFA as the collective bargaining representative at Virgin America, we anticipate more merger-related activities to occur at a faster pace. The Master Executive Council (MEC) will continue to keep you updated on developments as they occur.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Linda Christou, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green and Brice McGee