Air Transport Association Files Lawsuit On NMB Union Voting Rule <


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Air Transport Association Files Lawsuit On NMB Union Voting Rule

By Steve Hall

May 18, 2010 - The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today filed a legal challenge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, responding to the National Mediation Board (NMB) issuance of a voting rule change for union representation. ATA issued the following statement: 

"On Monday, ATA filed a lawsuit (*) seeking speedy review of the National Mediation Board final rule, which dramatically changes the procedures by which airline and rail industry union representation elections are conducted. This new rule turns 75 years of history on its head without compelling justification. 

"ATA believes that the National Mediation Board failed to identify any material change in circumstances to support the new election procedure – a procedure that it last rejected only two years ago.

“The NMB decision to abandon an election procedure that the Supreme Court twice has upheld, which has allowed unions to effectively organize the rail and aviation industries, and which has served the public interest in avoiding disruptions to the vital national aviation and rail transportation systems, is both disappointing and puzzling.


"ATA looks forward to a quick resolution to this case, so that airlines and their employees can move forward together and more efficiently address their mutual goals." 

Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs. On a daily basis, U.S. airlines operate nearly 26,000 flights in 80 countries, using more than 6,000 aircraft to carry an average of two million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo. ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. 

* ATA members participating are ABX Air, Inc.; AirTran Airways, Inc.; Alaska Airlines, Inc.; ASTAR Air Cargo, Inc.; Atlas Air, Inc.; Delta Air Lines, Inc.; Evergreen International Airlines, Inc.; Federal Express Corporation; Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.; and JetBlue Airways Corp.
The National Mediation Board summary of rule change: 29 CFR Parts 1202 and 1206 [Docket No. C-6964] RIN 3140-ZA00. Summary: As part of its ongoing efforts to further the statutory goals of the Railway Labor Act, the National Mediation Board (NMB or Board) has amended the Railway Labor Act rules to provide that, in representation disputes, a majority of valid ballots cast will determine the craft or class representative. This change to its election procedures will provide a more reliable measure and or indicator of employee sentiment in representation disputes and provide employees with clear choices in representation matters. (see full rule change)
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