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Latest News - June 2010

June 28, 2010
Airlines Lose Appeal To Stop NMB Process
Source: Aviation Week
By: Jennifer Michels

Appeals by the Air Transport Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce for an injunction to stop new union election rules going into place July 1 have been denied by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The court, which heard oral arguments June 21 in the case (Civil Action No. 10-0804), issued a brief order June 25 signed by District Judge Paul Friedman, saying its opinion and reasoning will follow no later than Monday, June 28.

The decision means the hotly contested decision by two of three NMB members to no longer assign a “no” vote to employees who do not vote in a union election will go into effect July 1.

Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) International President Patricia Friend said in a statement, “Today, democracy has prevailed and we gladly usher in a new era where aviation and railway employees have a voice. Throughout this country, a majority of those casting ballots determine election outcomes. And for the first time in recent history, elections conducted by the NMB will be held to the standards and principles that our country was founded upon.”

The new rules are expected to prompt quick election requests at Delta by the AFA and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

It was fairly clear from the start that the NMB was going to move forward with the new procedures, which airlines believe will make unionizing at airlines easier, refusing to give airlines the one thing they sought if the rule did go through — a union decertification process (DAILY, May 11). The two board members who authored the rulemaking also did so over the loud objections of Chairman Elizabeth Dougherty, who issued a 22-page dissent, and said she was excluded from internal deliberations.

ATA said in a statement: "We are disappointed with the court’s ruling and believe the National Mediation Board does not have the authority to impose this new rule. We will thoroughly study the decision to determine what, if any, steps ATA will take, including exercising our right to appeal the ruling.”



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