We’ve put together a few FAQ’s for current and future activists anyone else interested in helping us form Our Union now…
What is my role as an activist?
Your role as an activist is simple—discuss the union on every trip, carry authorization cards with you, gather signed cards back and mail them to TWU in D.C. quickly. You’re simply having conversations, just like you would talk about anything else. You would also let the person know you have the cards available should they want to sign one.
Why do we need 400 activists?
As we near 4,000 Flight Attendants it will be virtually impossible to collect the cards we need if only a small group of us is helping. The only way to reach the goal is to have a large group of activists gathering and mailing cards. This cannot be accomplished any other way. If the majority of us want a union—then the majority of us must work for it. We must organize ourselves!
How many cards do we need?
In order to file for an election, the National Mediation Board (NMB) requires 50%+1 signed authorization cards from our workgroup. Additionally, TWU requests that we attempt to reach 70% signed authorization cards to put ourselves in a stronger winning and bargaining position. This would mean a goal of almost 2,800 cards!
Why can’t we just file for an election NOW and hope for the best?
We cannot file because we do not have enough valid authorization cards in DC. Cards expire one year from the date they are signed and the NMB will not accept them. Expiring cards, an influx of new classes and a small team of activists leads us to not having enough cards. That is why we must tilt the scale in our favor and all chip in to help gather cards over a short period of time.
Can I get into trouble for being an activist?
No. It’s against the law to discipline a worker for discussing the union. As long as your discussions don’t interfere with required duties it is perfectly legal to talk about the union. Always “fly right” and be the best Inflight Crewmember you can be—keep discussions respectful and professional. No one has ever been terminated for being an activist, supporting the union or for gathering cards.
What is the best way to start a discussion?
Just let it happen naturally. You could wait and listen—usually a work rule, policy or company benefit is brought up during a trip and that would be a good opportunity to bring up the union. Asking questions, for example…if the person was ever a member of a union. Having a union bag tag or pin can help jump start a discussion as well. Having campaign literature to share and look over together are good tools to use to communicate with.
Where can I discuss the union?
You can discuss the union anywhere you discuss anything else. In the crew lounge, in the galley and on a layover. It’s your right to talk about it.
What if someone doesn’t want to talk about it or they become combative?
If someone doesn’t want to talk about it, then we respect that. Never force a topic on someone. A conversation involves two or more people to share ideas and ask questions. If that isn’t happening, then it’s time to change the support or cease talking all together. A healthy debate is perfectly fine but activists should never argue.
What’s the next step?
We need 400 activists before we can make the next move so please tell everyone that wants us to have a union to sign up to help us get it. They need to become an activists too! Once you sign up to be an activist we’ll be providing you with updates on our progress, helpful information and answer any questions that you may have.
Your TWU Lead Organizers