Forgery Charges Rattle Teamster Airline Raids

Allegations that organizers for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) forged hundreds of authorization cards in an effort to force an election among mechanics at American Airlines is shaping up to be a major issue in a separate election among mechanics at US Airways.

According to declarations submitted to the National Mediation Board (NMB) by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), a paid IBT staff organizer engaged in falsification of cards on a large scale, involving “authorization cards from at least 1,500 workers who had never been seen, spoken to or assessed.”

The NMB has yet to determine if IBT submitted enough valid cards for an election among nearly 11,000 mechanic and related workers at American who are currently represented by the TWU. In a letter to the NMB, the IAM urged the agency to also investigate whether the IBT forged authorization cards at US Airways as well.

An election is currently underway for approximately 4,500 IAM-represented mechanic and related workers at US Airways. In addition to the fraud allegations, the key issue for mechanics in the US Airways election has been preserving the IAM National Pension Plan, which would be lost if the IBT prevailed.

A news article published August 8 in, titled “Could Forgery Charge at American Hurt Teamsters’ US Airways Raid?” notes that the IBT has yet to deny the allegations of forged authorization cards. Instead, the IBT acknowledged that the forgery charges “are most troubling and raise very serious concerns for all involved.”