JetBlue employee sentiment sinks as execs push back against unionization
JetBlue ($NASDAQ:JBLU) has historically been an a great airline to work for, as far as airlines go. Compared to industry stalwarts, it's a modern, young, innovative company that treats its customers and employees well. But as the company's 7,400 airport operation agents and 1,000 mechanics are looking unionize via the Transport Workers Union, workplace ratings via Glassdoor are beginning to look a bit more like your average airline.
Typically an above-average place to work according to anonymous Glassdoor reviews, JetBlue's ratings of late are sinking closer to the Travel & Leisure industry average.
Historically, JetBlue is not only one of the best airlines in terms of customer satisfaction, but also in overall employee sentiment, as it was once named a "top-20 place to work" by Forbes magazine in 2017.
Today, the company's overall rating on Glassdoor is dipping closer to the industry average. During the company's peak of employee satisfaction in 2017, it had a .6 lead in overall rating above the industry average. On February 6, 2018, that gap has been cut in half.
This is thanks to a decrease in the percentage of 5 and 4-star reviews, and an increase of 1 and 2-star reviews over time.
The ratings for Compensation and Benefits, as well as company Culture & Values, have also decreased over time.
One rating that has met the industry average is the rating for the company's CEO Robin Hayes.
Meanwhile, JetBlue President Johanna Geraghty isn't helping matters when it comes to executive perception. She wrote an e-mail to employees about why unionization wouldn't give the company more accomplishments and success.
In that e-mail, as reproduced by The Guardian, she wrote, "if anyone asks you to sign a card, I’m asking you to decline. Don’t be fooled – the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence and you don’t have to look over that fence to see what unions have done (or failed to do) at other airlines."
The accomplishments that the company has had with zero union, according to her e-mail, included, but was not limited to, a holiday party and loosening the uniform policy to add more approved nail polish covers.
Sentiments about the company's top brass have declined to the point of meeting, and even dipping below, the industry average in the past few weeks, and it currently sits at 69%.
As an aside, the number of Glassdoor ratings that are deemed relevant has been dropping from 2017 to October 2018, but over the past few months, more reviews have come in about the company.
For years, JetBlue has touted the love passengers and employees show for the company. Now, as unionization talks bring up some sour grapes, it seems not everything is blue skies and smooth flying for the award-winning budget airline.