Washington D.C. – The National Mediation Board (NMB) today set dates for the union representation election for American Airlines passenger service agents.
American Airlines management has spent nearly a year and millions of dollars trying to block employees’ democratic right to vote. It was December 2011 when the Communications Workers of America petitioned the NMB on behalf of passenger service agents who want an election and a union voice.
Voting instructions will be mailed to 9,700 agents on Dec. 4. The election will be conducted by the NMB using telephone electronic voting and Internet voting, with the voting period in effect from Dec. 4 through Jan. 15, 2013. At 2 pm on Jan. 15, the vote will be tallied at the NMB offices in Washington D.C.
American Airlines has been instructed to provide the NMB with labels with the names and current addresses of employees on the list of those eligible to vote by November 6.
“This is a great victory, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Janet Elston, an agent at Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport. “We need to get our folks voting, and voting yes.” Elston noted the decision is particularly important in light of the fact that agents are facing drastic cuts in pay and benefits and layoff. Meanwhile, American Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy with $4 billion in the bank and now has at least $5 billion on hand, continues to slash jobs, wages, benefits and working conditions.
Earlier this week, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected American Airlines’ request to reconsider its October decision supporting passenger service agents’ right to vote for union representation.
“They will try to keep fighting us, but we have the majority of the agents on our side, agents who have had enough of being jerked around,” said CWA Organizing Director Sandy Rusher.
American Airlines has told employees that it will appeal the federal appeals court decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, in yet another attempt to deny workers their democratic right to vote. But workers are determined.
“The company is not on our side, it’s time to stand up for ourselves,” said Ted Tezino, who has spent 11 years working at American Airlines’ Southern Reservations Office.