Fri, Oct 13, 2006
Transport Workers Union Loses By Nearly 300 Votes
For the second time in
as many years, Continental Airlines' baggage and cargo workers have
eschewed unionization. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) missed a
majority despite garnering over 3,300 votes in an election
supervised by the National Mediation Board.
For this attempt, the union warned workers their jobs might be
in jeopardy if a rumored merger between Continental and United goes
through. Continental says those rumors were propagated by the union
trying to scare workers.
TWU must wait at least 12 months before asking for another vote,
but union leadership is unsure if they will. TWU president James
Little told the Associate Press, "I'm kind of surprised. My gut was
telling me this was going to pass because of the new issue we
raised about the potential mergers."
Continental sees this as a major victory. Airline senior vice
president Bill Meehan said, "We are pleased that our employees
recognized the value of our direct working relationship. By
honoring our commitments to employees, we will continue to maintain
the culture of trust we've built at Continental Airlines. Working
together, we have a promising future."
Despite one of this year's biggest organizing efforts, TWU lost
by 285 votes -- almost the same as last year's 308-vote
Continental's baggage and cargo workers are its only non-union
employees -- aside from management, of course.
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