As if union organizing was not hard enough now the courts are making it even harder. The Communication Workers of America have been working for over a year to organize the service agents at American Airlines. Today the workers at American Airlines got a huge push, backwards.
“Today’s ruling by US District Court Judge Terry Means is a disgrace and a travesty of justice for 10,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines. The Court, despite a clear reiteration of congressional intent by the Senate authors of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization, determined that the 50 percent showing of interest standard should apply to agents who have been waiting for seven months for their lawful, democratic vote.”
The fact is that earlier this year Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization bill which modified the percentage of signed petitions are needed to call for an election. This process can take years when you are dealing with a large corporation or in the case of American Airlines, vast geographical diversity.
CWA filed for an election prior to the passage of FAA Reauthorization actually passing in Congress. However American Airlines is using this new law to push back against the union and stall the election process. We all know that the longer they can stall the election process the more time they have to deceive the workers into voting against the union. “American Airlines and the court continue to willfully misrepresent federal aviation law. In correspondence with American Airlines CEO Thomas Horton, Senators Reid, Rockefeller and Harkin made clear that retroactivity did not apply, and addressed this specific petition in their discussion on the Senate floor. Judge Means is ignoring these statements, but he cannot change the facts.” The Communications Workers of America immediately will appeal this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
These agents have been denied their democratic right to vote, now by a District Court Judge. This is a travesty in a country that prides itself on democratic tradition.
“Here in America we’re taught to respect democracy and our right to vote. Sadly, the court’s decision today is an attack on the rights of these average Americans, agents who just want the opportunity to participate in a democratic election,” Sandy Rusher, CWA Organizing Director, said.