Washington D.C., September 20, 2011 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today filed an application with the National Mediation Board (NMB) asking the Board to rule that United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Continental Micronesia are now operating as a single transportation system for union representation purposes in the Passenger Service classification. Such a ruling is a necessary first step before union representation issues can be resolved.
“Passenger Service and Reservations employees at the combined carrier deserve the same union protection that almost 80% of the workforce already enjoys, “said IAM General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “United employees remember what it was like before they joined the Machinists Union, and Continental employees have seen the advantages of being unionized.”
The Machinists Union already represents 9,400 United Airlines Passenger Service employees, while Continental’s 7,000 employees in the classification are unrepresented. Another 175 Continental Micronesia employees are represented by another union. Unlike most elections prompted by the merger of the three airlines, Passenger Service employees will likely be choosing between the Machinists Union and no union. The Passenger Service classification includes Reservation Agents at each airline, as well as airport Customer Service and Sales Agents at the carriers.
“We look forward to working with the Passenger Service employees at the combined airline,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “As the union representing the combined group, the IAM will leverage our bargaining power, experience and resources to ensure Passenger Service employees are rewarded in this merger, and do not become casualties of it.”
In accordance with NMB guidelines, separate single carrier applications and determinations must be made for each employee classification following an airline merger. There is no time frame set for the NMB to rule on the IAM’s application.
The Machinists Union is the largest airline union in North America. More information about the IAM is available at www.voteiam.com.