The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association won't be allowed to challenge for representation of maintenance workers at American Airlines, leaders of the union say.
The labor group submitted signatures electronically to the National Mediation Board on Tuesday, just hours after a similar filing by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. But AMFA was told verbally by board officials Wednesday that its application would not stand, said Louie Key, national director for AMFA.
Key said union officials were given the impossible task of having to submit original signatures before a Tuesday afternoon deadline.
"We are disappointed with the decision by the board to deny these workers a fair and democratic election," Key said.
AMFA is one of two groups trying to challenge the Transport Workers Union for representation of 11,000 mechanics and maintenance workers at American Airlines.
The Teamsters union announced Tuesday that it had collected a majority of the 11,000 signatures needed to challenge the incumbent TWU.
After the Teamsters filed its signatures Tuesday, American Airlines submitted a list of eligible signatures. American Airlines' list will be used to verify the authenticity of the Teamsters signatures.
The National Mediation Board allows any other challenging unions to submit a signature list until 4 p.m. on the day that the company submits its list.
Key said it is extremely unusual for American Airlines to have its list of eligible employee signatures ready the same day; he said the process usually takes weeks.
National Mediation Board spokesman Don Larsen said AMFA did file as an "intervenor" for representation at American Airlines. He said further information on the issue was not available.
Key said American Airlines was trying to shut out AMFA by submitting the signatures so quickly. American Airlines officials refused to comment on the issue.
Unions are competing to represent American Airlines after nearly 18 months of controversial bankruptcy proceedings that have resulted in steep pension losses for workers.
American Airlines will be the largest carrier in the world when it merges with US Airways Group later this year.
The signatures submitted by the Teamsters union now need to be vetted by the National Mediation Board. If the union has collected enough valid signatures, a vote will be scheduled on who will represent mechanics in collective bargaining at American.
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
firstname.lastname@example.org SUBHEAD: Union leaders say federal officials told them their application wouldn't stand.
Original Print Headline: AMFA won't be in AA union mix