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August 13, 2014

Virgin America flight attendants vote to join the TWU

Virgin America's flight attendants voted to join the Transport Workers Union, the union said on Tuesday.

The union, which also represents flight attendants at Southwest Airlines, received 430 votes, or 58 percent, compared to 307 who voted against unionizing. Over 700 flight attendants out of the 828 that work at Virgin America voted in the union representation election.

 "We ran a very positive campaign and we believe that we can make positive changes at the airline by giving flight attendants a voice," said Virgin America flight attendant Adam Croteau in a statement.

This is the first union group at Virgin America. Negotiations for a contract are expected to begin later this fall, the TWU said.

"We respect the decision by our InFlight teammates to choose third-party representation, and we will continue to work to serve the best interests of all of our teammates and our airline as we move forward," said Virgin America spokeswoman Jennifer Thomas.

Virgin America will be moving its operations from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Dallas Love Field this fall when the Wright Amendment restrictions expire. The airline is leasing two gates at Love Field that were formerly held by American Airlines which American was required to divest as part of its government settlement to get approval for its merger with US Airways.

The carrier currently operates flights from DFW to San Francisco and Los Angeles but plans to launch 14 daily flights from Love Field to those two cities and Washington D.C.'s Reagan National and New York's LaGuardia airports.

-Andrea Ahles

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