AURORA, Colo., May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the heels of the surprise representation filing for American Airlines mechanics and related craft by the Teamsters yesterday, the National Mediation Board (NMB) thwarted the efforts of American Airlines mechanics to place the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) on the ballot. Although the AMFA filed the necessary documents electronically with the NMB on Tuesday afternoon and delivered original documents Wednesday, officials at the NMB applied a technical rule effectively stripping away the right of any union to obtain intervenor status in the representation election.
Generally in a single carrier proceeding (i.e., merger of two airlines), intervenors are permitted thirty (30) days to present the necessary authorization cards. In this case the NMB determined that, due to the absence of an immediate airline merger, it would apply the terms of Section 3.3 of the Representation Manual, which provides that once the NMB receives the eligibility list and signature samples from the carrier, an applicant or intervenor has until 4 p.m. eastern time to present additional cards.
Historically, carriers take days and sometimes weeks to gather and submit the required lists and signature samples, thereby allowing employees the opportunity to demonstrate their support for an alternate union candidate.
For reasons yet unknown, American Airlines was able to produce the eligibility list and the thousands of sample signature cards, shortly before 4:00 p.m. on the same day as the Teamsters filing—May 28, 2013. The NMB then denied the right of American Airlines mechanics to submit their authorization cards in favor of AMFA's intervenor status.
"We are disappointed with the decision by the Board to deny these workers a fair and democratic election," said AMFA National Director Louie Key. "This is the second time that American has managed to deny AMFA a place on the ballot requested by thousands of American employees. In 2004, we believe the company added employees to their eligibility list when AMFA filed, leaving us 27 cards short in that filing."
"We were approached some time ago by mechanics at American Airlines who were unhappy with their current representation, and concerned about what representation would be like should the Teamsters be successful in their drive," said Key.
Unlike the two other unions interested in American Airlines mechanics, AMFA is a craft-oriented, independent aviation union.
"Our members and leadership are from the mechanic and related craft, and many of us were represented by the Teamsters at one point-in-time during our careers. We know first hand that the small percentage of mechanics and related in the rolls of the Teamsters more than 1.5 million members, get no respect and virtually no resources," said AMFA Secretary/ Treasurer Justin Madden.
"The situation that has unfolded with the Teamsters filing is a David versus Goliath versus Godzilla situation. We may be the smallest of the three unions, but we are the best choice for the aircraft mechanic and related craft at American Airlines. And now the NMB, the Teamsters, and the company may have essentially blocked us," continued Key. "Nonetheless we are exploring all of our options."
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association was established in 1962 as a craft focused union that represents aircraft mechanics and related employees. The motto of the Association is "safety in the air begins with quality maintenance on the ground." AMFA currently represents mechanics and related employees at Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. For more information on AMFA visit www.amfanational.com.
SOURCE Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association