A request for a hearing before the Supreme Court of the United States by American Airlines in an effort to block its passenger service agents from voting on union representation has been denied by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, allowing a vote to go forward next week.
The Communications Workers of America has been pushing for a vote by the 9,700 agents for about a year. American spokesman Bruce Hicks said that the Supreme Court request to block the vote was an attempt by the airline to recognize that the majority of those workers did not ask for or approve of the vote to join the union. But "with the election going forward, we urge all of our agents and representatives to vote," he said.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the airline sought to block the vote because the union failed to get authorization cards from 50 percent of the affected workers ... a standard included in a law enacted in February. The National Mediation Board disagreed, saying that because the application had been filed before December 2011 that an earlier 35 percent benchmark should apply.
It would have required four of the nine Supreme Court Justices to agree to hear the case, which did not happen. That hearing would likely not have come before January in any case. The paper reports that voting instructions have gone out to the workers, and that the outcome will be decided by a majority of the votes cast.