The National Mediation Board has decided to move forward on the union representation election for nearly 10,000 agents at American Airlines, despite American's continuing refusal to cooperate.
American Airlines has been doing everything it can think of, legal and not, to stop nearly 10,000 agents from exercising their legal right to a union representation vote. The airline repeatedly refused to turn over the list of agents, violating a direct order from the National Mediation Board. The latest outrage was a lawsuit filed by the company on May 2, in which American Airlines is seeking to substitute its own judgment for that of Congress, so it can stop passenger service agents from having a union voice.
The notice of election and sample instructions will be sent to the company on June 14, 2012 to post at each location. Telephone electronic voting and Internet voting instructions will be mailed to employees on June 21; the voting period will run from June 21 through Aug. 2, 2012. Votes will be tallied at 2 pm, EDT, Aug. 2 at the NMB’s office.
In its order, the NMB said the agency’s longstanding policy and the intent of the Railway Labor Act is to resolve representation disputes “as expeditiously as possible,” and also noted that as a result of American Airlines’ lawsuit, “the case has already been delayed for four weeks.” The NMB reaffirmed past decisions that found that “the mere filing of a motion to stay an election does not halt the Board’s proceedings.”
Last month, agents and CWA supporters delivered labels containing the names and mailing addresses of nearly all eligible passenger service agents to the NMB, countering American Airlines’ refusal to turn over the mailing label list so the election announced by the NMB earlier this year could proceed. The CWA list coincides with the eligibility list submitted by American Airlines to the NMB on Dec. 7, 2011, when CWA filed for a representation election, and the NMB’s later determination of eligible voters.