NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JetBlue Airways pilots vote to join the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents pilots in negotiations over pay, benefits and work rules.


JetBlue Airways pilots have voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association.

This marks the third time JetBlue (JBLU) pilots voted on the matter, after rejecting joining the union in 2009 and in 2011.  It also marks the end of JetBlue's status as the biggest U.S. airline without a union.

About 74% of the airline's eligible pilots voted to join the ALPA, which represents pilots in negotiations over pay, benefits and work rules.  ALPA President Lee Moak said it's a move that will protect their future.

"Their vote says clearly that they want a real seat at the table to discuss the future.  They want to collect a bargaining agreement instead of signing individual agreements with management, and they want the professional resources and the support of ALPA's 50,000 other pilots to help them achieve their goals," Moak said.

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Shares fell on news of the unionization on worries it would mean higher costs for the budget carrier's customers.  Already, JetBlue warned this year that costs are expected to rise due to an agreement to raise pilots' base pay rates by 20% and its plans to hire more pilots.

At last check, shares of JetBlue reversed and were climbing more than 1% to $8.69.

In New York, I'm Brittany Umar for TheStreet.

Written by Brittany Umar in New York.

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