NMB Rule Change is Historic Opportunity for Unions

With the looming prospect of additional consolidation in the airline industry, workers at United, Continental and all carriers need to understand how a rule change proposed by National Mediation Board (NMB) would dramatically increase their chances of retaining their contracts, retirement benefits and seniority rights.

The IAM is encouraging all members and family members to contact the NMB and support what could be the biggest and most positive change to U.S. labor law in decades.

Representation elections are most often the result of a successful organizing campaign at a non-union facility; however, they can also be required by the NMB following a merger of union-represented carriers to determine if the merged carrier will be union or non-union.

Under the proposed rule change, union representation elections will be determined in the same way that American voters choose their presidents, senators and state legislators – by a majority of voters who choose to cast ballots.

By contrast, current election rules count non-voters as “no” votes and dramatically increase the possibility of decertification, giving employers the opportunity to unilaterally dictate wages, benefits and working conditions in an “at will” environment.

Airline executives and their corporate allies are mounting an intense campaign against the rule change, which would close a loophole they hoped to use to de-unionize large portions of the highly unionized airline industry.

With progressive issues like health care, the Employee Free Choice Act and regulation of the financial industry mired in partisan wrangling, the NMB proposal to strengthen voting rights for transportation workers stands out as a golden opportunity to quickly achieve positive change for workers in an industry that desperately needs it.

To learn more about the proposed NMB Rule change click here.