Home for the holidays: There ARE union travel options

Workers and their families can say “Union, Yes” when they travel, by flying unionized airlines.

Information on which airlines are unionized isn’t easy to come by. The AFL-CIO’s Union Label and Service Trades Department doesn’t maintain such a list. But the Northwest Labor Press found a good deal of information in the annual reports that publicly traded corporations are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We’ve ranked the airlines that fly out of Portland International Airport from most to least unionized. At the top is US Airways, with 87 percent of its workforce unionized. At the bottom is JetBlue, the only major airline that’s totally nonunion.

Of course, any of this could change. Flight attendants at Frontier unionized this May. And at Delta airlines, tens of thousands of workers are deciding this month and next whether to be union or not.

The biggest airline unions are the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM); the Association of Flight Attendants, a division of the Communications Workers of America (AFA-CWA); the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA); Transport Workers Union (TWU); and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

Here are the rankings, from most unionized to least, along with the acronyms of their unions.

US Airways: 87 percent (IAM, IBT, TWU, USAPA, AFA-CWA)

United/Continental: 82 percent (IAM, AFA-CWA, ALPA, IBT, IFPTE, PAFCA)

Southwest: 82 percent (SWAPA, TWU, IAM, IBT, AMFA)

Alaska Airlines: 82 percent (ALPA, AFA, IAM, IAM, AMFA, TWU)

American: 67 percent (APA, TWU, APFA)

Horizon: 46 percent (IBT)

Frontier/Republic: 45 percent (AFA-CWA, FAPA, TWU, IBT)

Delta/Northwest: 39 percent (ALPA, PAFCA, IAM, AFA-CWA, IBT, AMFA, TWU)

JetBlue: 0 percent

Another thing: To get to and from Portland International Airport, there is one partially unionized taxi company — Radio Cab, where dispatchers are represented by the Teamsters.

Finally, bus and rail are other union travel options. Greyhound Bus drivers and mechanics are represented by Amalgamated Transit Union National Local 1700 and the IAM. Amtrak workers are members of nine different unions, depending on their occupation, including IAM, TWU, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

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