Jan 29, 1997WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Communications Workers of America announced it will file objections to actions by USAir management against the organizing efforts of its passenger service employees, who narrowly lost their bid for union representation as votes were counted today by the National Mediation Board.
As the vote count was being finalized, preliminary figures showed about 4,000 votes for CWA, slightly more than 200 write-ins for other unions, and another 200 challenged ballots. Election rules under the Railway Labor Act governing airline workers require that more than a majority of the workers must cast votes in order for the election to be valid. The passenger service bargaining unit totals 9,273 workers overall.
CWA President Morton Bahr said the union will file objections to management actions in the campaign, citing USAir's use of employer-dominated employee organizations, a tactic that is a violation of the labor laws that cover most workers.
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said it was clear that CWA would have won this election under the labor laws that govern most private industry workers. "Instead, the thousands of passenger service employees who have been working for more than two years with CWA to build their union faced huge obstacles to organizing, all permitted by the National Mediation Board," he said. "But what's also clear is that, with CWA, customer service employees at USAir have built a strong grassroots organization, one that will grow stronger and continue to be a major force for USAir employees," Sweeney noted.
Bahr said the campaign was the work of hundreds of USAir employees, who worked on organizing committees, talked with co-workers, distributed literature, worked the telephones and spread the union message. "Despite the obstacles they faced -- obstacles inherent to organizing under National Mediation Board rules -- this time, the USAir workers came closer than they ever had before to achieving their goal of union representation. CWA will be with them when they reach that goal," he said.