The Communications Workers of America commends the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. For passenger service agents at American Airlines, who have been fighting for a union voice for 15 years, this is extremely good news.
Today’s unanimous decision dismisses claims by American Airlines that have blocked the democratic election rights of nearly 10,000 passenger service agents for far too long.
The appeals court found that the lower court “erred in exercising jurisdiction.” Now, the National Mediation Board can go forward with the election process that had been wrongly denied American Airlines passenger service agents since they filed for union representation in December 2011. Those employees finally will have the opportunity to exercise their legal right to vote on union representation.
The same American Airlines executives who took the airline into bankruptcy with $4 billion in the bank, which now has grown to $ 8 billion, also spent millions trying to stop workers from exercising their democratic rights.
Passenger service agents look forward to the NMB setting a new election date as soon as possible.
“This was a big step towards being able to negotiate instead of having them dictate terms to us,” said Janet Elston, a veteran of 28 years as an American Airlines gate agent based at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. “It’s been grueling, it’s not easy, but it will be worth it once we have an election.”
Ted Tezino, who has worked for 11 years at American Airlines’ Southern Reservation Office, noted the bankruptcy has made their situation as employees clear;
“The company is not on our side, and it’s time to stand up for ourselves,” Tezino said.
This is a great step forward for the workers at American Airlines, across the country. Workers will not get the chance to have a voice in their workplace and work towards bettering the lives the people who work so hard to make American Airlines run.