United Airlines Attacks Workers’ Voting Rights

With less than two weeks before votes are counted in the representation election for nearly 18,000 Passenger Service and Reservation Employees at United Airlines, the National Mediation Board (NMB) ruled that nearly 1,000 United/Continental employees are ineligible to vote in the election that will conclude on February 21.

The ruling, which was sought by United management as part of their campaign to deny union representation to Passenger Service and Reservation Employees, ignores years of Board precedent and has the potential to significantly impact the outcome of the election.

IAM legal representatives immediately challenged the decision, filing a formal appeal with the full three-member Board, citing the history of the classification, past NMB decisions and real-life examples of individuals’ work experiences.

“The Investigators’ ruling violates the Railway Labor Act (RLA) by allowing United to intentionally manipulate the eligibility lists so that nearly 1,000 people will be deprived the right to vote in any election,” the IAM said in its appeal. “These employees must be allowed to vote – the RLA requires nothing less.”

The IAM’s complete appeal is available for review and printing here.

IAM Transportation GVP Sito Pantoja noted the contradiction between United’s campaign rhetoric and its effort to suppress participation in the representation election. “It is both revealing and ironic for United management to deny workers’ voting rights while asking those same employees to “give them a year” to prove the so-called advantages of working in an at-will, non-union environment.”

A decision on the IAM appeal will be rendered by the Board prior to the Feb. 21 vote count. Visit www.voteiam.com for more information and updates about the election.

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