FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., April 26, 2011 – The National Mediation Board (NMB) today authorized a representation election that could establish the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) as the sole collective bargaining representative for 24,605 Flight Attendants at the recently merged United-Continental Airlines.
The election will commence on May 17, 2011 and conclude on June 29, 2011.
With strong support from Flight Attendants at both carriers, and a recently ratified contract for IAM-represented Flight Attendants at Continental, the IAM is favored to prevail in the election, which was mandated following last year’s merger of United and Continental Airlines.
“This election is all about giving Flight Attendants the opportunity to negotiate a contract that respects their professionalism and restores sacrifices made when their carriers were struggling,” said IAM Transportation Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “There is no excuse for Flight Attendants at the former United to remain tethered to a bankruptcy-brokered contract that continues to exploit them while their carrier posts record profits.”
The NMB election will be conducted under the agency’s new voting guidelines, which determine the outcome by a simple majority of ballots cast. The IAM was an aggressive advocate for the new voting rules, arguing against the former practice of assigning a “NO” vote to any voter who did not cast a ballot.
“Democracy in the workplace should begin at the ballot box and extend to every level of representation,” said Roach. “Contract negotiations should be highly transparent and include participation from all elements of the bargaining unit. This is especially important in a classification as diverse and unique as Flight Attendants.”
The IAM represents Continental and Continental Micronesia’s Flight Attendants, while United’s Flight Attendants are currently represented by another union. The IAM is the largest airline union in North America. More information about the IAM campaign for United Flight Attendants is available at www.iamnow.org.