The relative sizes of bargaining units was a key factor in the first representation election brought on by the merger of United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Continental Micronesia Airlines. With more than 15,000 Flight Attendants at the pre-merger United Airlines, the CWA-AFA was able to overcome the 9,500 Flight Attendants at Continental and Continental Micronesia represented by the IAM. Although the CWA-AFA had a 5,500 member advantage, the vote difference was just 2,197 votes.
According to the National Mediation Board (NMB), which conducted the election and oversees labor relations in the air and rail industries, the AFA-CWA received 11,942 votes from the combined group. The IAM received 9,745 votes.
The IAM is investigating multiple violations of election rules by the CWA-AFA, and weighing all available options.
“Since 1991 when the Flight Attendants at Continental and later Continental Micronesia joined the IAM, we have had a proud history and worked together to win the best agreements in the industry,” said IAM Transportation Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “Thousands of people worked hard in this campaign. Their desire to serve, their courage to act, and their ability to perform warrants our deepest respect and thanks.”