Virgin America flight attendants are seeking a vote to decide if they will unionize, an official with the Transport Workers Union said Tuesday.
A drive to collect signature cards from the 850 flight attendants at Virgin America began last July, reports Reuters. Thom McDaniel, a TWU international vice president, said the union has received signature cards from a majority of attendants but did not provide an exact number. Labor rules say the support from 50 percent of employees, plus one, is needed to file for an election.
"We have an overwhelming majority," McDaniel said. "It's not at 50 percent, it's way over that. We've got well more than we need."
The attendants have filed call for an election with National Mediation Board, and the vote could happen as soon as two months from now. This would offer Virgin time to contest the election and provide time for the workers’ signature cards to be verified.
If the election to organize a union is successful, it would be the first time a union was formed at the airline.
Virgin America, though founded by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, is a U.S. airline. By law, no more than 25 percent of a U.S. airline may be owned by foreign interests and must be under the "actual control" of U.S. citizens. VAI Partners owns 75 percent of the capital stock; the remaining 25 percent is owned by Branson's Virgin Group, based in England.