More Dems join call for airline to hold union election

ADVERTISEMENT
The lawmakers echoed similar comments made about the American union situation recently by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Reps. Jerry Costello, Jesse Jackson Jr., Daniel Lipinski, Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky, all Democrats from Illinois. 

In its lawsuit to prevent the election, American is arguing that the petition to hold the union vote was conducted under old NMB rules that required 35 percent of a company's workforce to say it was in favor of voting on unionization. Congress raised the threshold to 50 percent in a bill to provide funding for the Federal Aviation Administration that was approved earlier this year.

But Pelosi, Rahall and Miller said in their letter to Horton that the airline's lawsuit was "sharply at at odds with congressional intent and legislative history."

"It is a well-documented strategy to use litigation solely to delay and ultimately frustrate workers' attempts to organize a union," the lawmakers wrote. "We certainly hope that American Airlines hold itself to a higher standard when it comes to respecting workers' fundamental rights."
 
The Democrats added that it was "not surprising" that American Airlines' employees were considering voting to be represented by a union.

"American Airlines is in bankruptcy. Bankruptcies create great uncertainty for workers," the lawmakers wrote.

"The agency tasked with determining whether these workers have met the requirements for the union election has ruled in favor of an election," they continued. "The agency has ordered American Airlines to provide names and addresses of eligible voters so that the election can be conducted. We expect American Airlines to comply with that order." 

More in Transportation

Former airline chief: Companies ‘cued up’ to fly more to Cuba

Read more »