IAM Files for AirTran Representation Election

The IAM has asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to hold a representation election for more than 3,200 Fleet Service, Passenger Service and Reservation employees of Orlando-based AirTran Airways.

“AirTran employees do not want to go through a merger with Southwest Airlines without union protections,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “Even if the merger is not completed, the Machinists Union will ensure these AirTran employees receive the compensation and respect that every worker deserves.”

Southwest Airlines has announced plans to purchase and absorb AirTran into its existing operations. The carriers expect the deal to be completed in the first half of 2011. The Machinists Union represents 5,000 Southwest Customer Service and Reservation Agents.

Under NMB rules, a union seeking an election must submit signed election authorization cards from a minimum of 35 percent of the group to be organized. The NMB will review the Machinists Union’s submission before setting an election date. Employees typically cast votes electronically through the NMB’s website or by telephone.