Machinists Union on Alaska Airlines, Virgin America Deal

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) General Vice President Sito Pantoja today issued the following statement regarding the proposed Alaska Airlines merger with Virgin America Airlines:

“As expected, the industry consolidation among the major airlines is being repeated by smaller carriers trying to survive. While today’s announcement proposes a merger, the final outcome will not be known for some time. The Machinists Union and our members have been through countless airline mergers. While executives talk about shareholders value and route structures, the Machinists Union’s sole focus in this merger is to make sure employees are not disadvantaged.”

The IAM represents 3,600 Alaska Airline Ramp Service, Customer Service, Office & Clerical, Reservation and Stores Agents at the Seattle-based carrier. Virgin Atlantic employees in similar classifications are non-union. Union representation at a merged carrier would not be determined until the transaction is completed and the  National Mediation Board determines the two airlines are operating as a single carrier for union representation purposes.

The Machinists Union is the world’s largest airline union. More information about the Machinists Union at Alaska Airlines is available at .

Machinists Union Calls on Senate to Hear, Confirm Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland

March 31, 2016, Washington, DC — Bob Martinez, International President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), issued the following statement in support of the nomination and hopeful confirmation of Chief Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to the U.S. Supreme Court:

“The IAM strongly supports President Obama’s choice of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and calls on the Senate to do its job and advise and consent to the nomination of this eminently qualified jurist.

“The justices of the Supreme Court play a critical role in our system of government. As the one branch of our government whose members are appointed for life, and not elected to a limited term, it is essential that the justices understand their role in defending and construing the United States Constitution, and in supporting and defending the laws of the land and the reasonable actions of the executive branch. Far too often in our history the Supreme Court has fallen short of this goal in ways that have caused substantial harm to unions and to working families, by undermining, and not defending, these laws, rules and Constitutional principles. We need justices on the Court that will defer to the legitimate actions of the other two branches of the government, and defend all citizens’ rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

“Chief Judge Garland’s career as a judge, a citizen, and a father demonstrates that he is extraordinarily qualified to be take on these responsibilities and be elevated to the Supreme Court. As judge, and now chief judge, of the United States Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit, he has faithfully defended the Constitution and, when appropriate, deferred to the democratic branches who make the laws and rules by which we are governed. He is uniformly acknowledged to be a fair, brilliant and hard-working judge. His work in the community outside of the law and his personal history also show that he is a person of integrity committed to public service and family. He will make an excellent justice.

“Now it is up to the Senate to do its job, and when it does we are confident it will make the same judgment it made 18 years ago when by a strong bi-partisan vote it confirmed Merrick Garland to be a judge on the D.C. Circuit.”

The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in the U.S. and represent nearly 600,000 active and retired members across North America. Visit for more information about the Machinists Union.