Swissport Fuelers in San Jose Overwhelmingly Vote IAM (

April 12, 2024

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced that Swissport aircraft fuelers based in San Jose, Calif., voted overwhelmingly to join the Machinists Union. The vote took place yesterday [11 March 2024] at San Jose Mineta International Airport.

“I proudly welcome these brave workers into the IAM family and to the Air Transport Territory,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “These workers stood up to Swissport management and its union-busting attorneys and voted YES for a brighter future. I couldn’t be more proud of these workers.”

The Swissport workers reached out to the IAM last year seeking union representation. The workers cited a myriad of workplace issues, such as sub-standard pay, unsafe working conditions and favoritism.

“I’m really proud of this group of aircraft fuelers,” said IAM District 141 Organizing Director and lead organizer, Frank Giannola. “Swissport’s rabidly anti-union attorneys and management team thought they could bully and intimidate these workers into voting against their interests. They were wrong. These workers have spoken loud and clear that they want to be treated with dignity and respect, and that will happen with IAM representation and a legally binding contract.”

During the run-up to the vote, Swissport management and its attorneys were contacting workers on their personal cell phones demanding a no vote. They even went so far as to harass the workers while they were fueling live aircraft, illegally claiming that the “law” required them to speak to these workers one on one, begging to give them a year to “fix things.” In a last ditch move of desperation, they also parked a company vehicle with a big “Vote No” sign right next to the polling location, in violation of federal rules prohibiting politicking next to a polling location.

“We will now gear up for negotiations for this group and we will not forget all the reprehensible tactics used by Swissport’s local management and attorneys to deny these workers their federal right to form a union,” continued Johnsen. “The IAM represents quite a few Swissport locations and we will make sure the top management executives at the company know how we feel about their behavior in this election.”

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