Las Vegas Sun

January 26, 2015

Currently: 57° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Allegiant flight attendants vote to unionize

Beyond the Sun

Flight attendants at Allegiant Air have voted to be represented by the Transport Workers Union.

It’s the first worker group of the airline, a subsidiary of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co., to seek union representation.

A union representation vote of Allegiant flight attendants to affiliate with the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA failed in December 2006.

The National Mediation Board conducted the election and tabulated the votes today. Telephone and online voting ran from Nov. 30 through today.

The final vote count was 220 for and 137 against TWU representation. It was the first flight attendant union vote under new rules to approve representation with a simple majority although TWU officials said they believe they would have won even with the old rules under which an employee’s lack of participation was counted as a “no” vote. The employee group has about 420 flight attendants based across the country.

“Allegiant respects the right of the flight attendant group to elect third-party representation and we will work with the TWU to the best interests of both our employees and the company,” Maurice Gallagher, Allegiant CEO and chairman, said in a statement issued after receiving the results from the NMB. “Contract negotiations can be a lengthy process and we do not anticipate any disruptions to our business or operations.”

“This is great news,” said Karen McKenna, a Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air flight attendant said in a statement released by the union. “We showed each other that when we stick together, we can make a difference.”

Allegiant’s group will join more than 9,400 Southwest Airlines flight attendant union members who affiliated through TWU Local 556. The Southwest union is expected to grow significantly when Southwest completes its acquisition of AirTran next year.

The TWU, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO and has 200,000 workers and retirees in commercial aviation, public transportation and passenger railroads, also has union organizing campaigns under way at Virgin America Airlines and JetBlue Airways.

James Little, TWU’s international president, said Allegiant management “ran a very aggressive ‘vote no’ campaign, which is typical of most employers.”

An Allegiant spokeswoman said Allegiant management “was vocal in that they believe the flight attendant group is better off keeping a direct relationship instead of seeking third-party representation. This was communicated to the work group throughout the voting period,” she said.

A second much-smaller employee group is also scheduled for a union representation vote at Allegiant.

The airline said flight dispatchers would begin voting for TWU representation with voting beginning Dec. 30 and concluding Jan. 24. Allegiant has about 13 flight dispatchers, which are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and serve as a pilot’s eyes and ears on the ground. They plan and monitor all flights and keep crews apprised of changes in weather, navigational aids or airport conditions while a plane is in the air.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 8 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. This is really going to hurt Allegiant Airways. Not because they may have to pay more in salary and benefits to the flight attendants, but because there are increasingly large numbers of people who will not do business with any company that uses union help.

  2. Too bad for Allegiant. Unioniziation is usually the beginning of the end of a profitable business.

  3. One of the reasons we have massive unemployment is because our government has tried to crush the unions. They aren't always a bad thing as depicted here by some. If we had the strong unions we once had opportunities and many jobs would still be available to American's but our friends on the right want to do absoutely everything they can to make their corporate masters as wealthy as possible, so its all anti union with them.

    We as a country would be in much better shape today if our leaders would work with the unions rather than against them but BIG profits for BIG corporations require minimum wage non union sometimes slave labor. Companies and corporations who own our politicians resist unions for purely selfish and profit driven reasons.

    Allegiant will be fine with the union despite the doom and gloom found here.

  4. Germany has the strongest economy in Europe and it is heavily Unionized. The German, Italian and Canadian car industries didn't fail like America, and they are considered 'Socialist'.

    Instead, we have hedge fund managers who complain about Unions while making $3.5 billion/year and tens of millions of Americans loose their jobs because of GREED in our Insurance and financial institutions. These same institutions make incredible profits off NO BID WAR CONTRACTS which abound for the POLITICALLY CORRECT.

    Unions created the 40 hour week in America and insisted on Holidays and Vacations. Unions helped to eliminate Child Labor and to provide families with the vacation time to be together. Unions made America a place to live.

    Unions are the beginning of life for those who work for a living, not the end. Read history.

  5. Well so goes another airline. You want proof checkout the steel industry and the auto industry in this country a mere shadow of itself due to high unreasonable demands from unions. Unions are one of the main causes of this countries decay.

  6. SunJon...
    Right on, right on, RIGHT ON!!!

    You anti-union guys...
    "Oh, NO! How AWFUL! Workers are going to be REPRESENTED! My GOD! They may have RIGHTS or something. How EVIL!"

    Please. Get a grip.

    In this new era of "Bash The Working Stiff", unions
    may see quite a renaissance.

    Workers need protections from unscrupulous Corporate types who are USING the "Big Recession" as an excuse to strip workers of everything good they've attained over the past 50+ years.

    Good for the Allegiant employees.
    Bully for you!!!

  7. to TheKash, redroc, and bbtbrain:
    Yep, they are going to go out of business just like their unionized competitor, Southwest Airlines.

    Yeah and United and American airlines, too.

  8. They aren't always a bad thing as depicted here by some.


    Very true. Sure, in the past, unions have ruined some American institutions and that WAS because of greed. But for those who make minimum wage in certain fields, unions are a godsend. Take those who work in the in-home health care field (you know the ones who will come and take care of Grandma and Grandpa and Mom and Dad AT HOME so you don't have to send them to an early death by putting them in nursing homes) - those people were making minimum wage. Now thanks to their union, they make a wage that they can actually live on.

    "and the auto industry in this country a mere shadow of itself due to high unreasonable demands from unions"

    The auto industry screwed themselves. They thought everyone wanted to drive a 4x4 truck that gets 5 miles to a gallon and manufactured them in droves while dropping models that people wanted (STILL don't get why Ford stopped making the Taurus - the No. 1 car in the country for years). Then when gas went up to $4+ a gallon and people realized what white elephants that huge truck was - they stopped buying them. Then the car makers cried bankruptcy. But luckily that whole story turned out positive and they are back on track and finally making cars with the technology they should have had years ago.

    And gmag39 and dipstick - your posts were right on.