Machinists Union Wins Election for 17,000 at United Airlines

In an election conducted by the National Mediation Board (NMB), the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today won exclusive representation rights for nearly 18,000 Passenger Service and Reservation Employees at the new United Airlines.

The IAM received 8,305 votes during the seven-week election, while 5,865 votes were cast for no representation. The NMB determined there were 16,720 eligible voters. Winners in NMB elections are determined by a simple majority of ballots cast.

“This election preserves IAM representation rights for pre-merger United employees and extends that benefit to their new co-workers from Continental and Continental Micronesia,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Today’s win provides all IAM members at United with the advantages of size and strength that airlines themselves are seeking through consolidation.”

The Machinists Union also represents 14,800 Ramp Service and Stock & Stores employees at the new United. With the addition of the newly acquired Passenger Service and Reservations bargaining unit, the IAM now represents more than 31,500 employees at the combined airline.

The election was prompted by the merger of United, Continental and Continental Micronesia. The Machinists Union has represented United Airlines Passenger Service and Reservations employees since 1998, while Continental employees have been unrepresented until now. Continental Micronesia employees had been represented by another union.

“Voters had to overcome an aggressive anti-union campaign that included an attempt to have the votes of nearly 1,000 IAM supporters invalidated,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “Despite United’s divisive tactics, we will focus our efforts on building a better airline and unite employees into a single force to face the challenges ahead.”

For more information about the IAM’s election at United Airlines, visit  

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