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Sat, Apr 30, 2011

NMB Establishes Single-Carrier Status For Continental, United Ramp Workers

Decision Paves Way For Election Of Nearly 15,000 Fleet Service, Ramp Workers

The National Mediation Board (NMB) has issued a decision finding that United and Continental are single carriers for the purpose of labor relations. For the Continental fleet service, cargo and operations workers, and the United and Continental Micronesia ramp, cargo and operations workers, this means the NMB will soon order an election.

The Teamsters currently represent about 7,300 fleet service workers at Continental and 400 workers at Continental Micronesia, while the Machinists Union represents about 6,500 ramp workers at United.

"I'm glad the decision has finally arrived," said David Clinton, a ramp serviceman at United at Dulles International Airport in Virginia and 15-year employee with the airline. "It's time to get the vote on. My co-workers and I are ready to form our union with the Teamsters and join our brothers and sisters from Continental."

The Teamsters also represent the mechanics at both United and at Continental.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) welcomed Thursday’s National Mediation Board (NMB) single carrier ruling. The NMB decision sets in motion a 14-day period during which the IAM will provide sufficient evidence of support for the NMB to call for a union representation election. The Board requires a “showing of interest” by at least 35 percent of the combined classification before an election will be scheduled. The NMB will set the time frame for an election after the IAM provides its showing of interest.

“We are very pleased with the NMB decision,” said IAM District 141 President and Directing General Chairman Rich Delaney. “This will allow Fleet/Ramp service employees to determine their future and allow the IAM to continue to negotiate from a position of even greater strength. As airlines continue to consolidate for their best interests it is equally important for airline employees to consolidate into a single group. This decision is the first step.”

The IAM has represented Ramp Service employees at United Airlines since 1948, negotiating collective bargaining agreements that repeatedly set compensation standards for the entire industry while providing solid careers for generations of workers at United.

“This is the first step towards bringing together the Fleet/Ramp service classifications at the new United under the banner of the IAM,” said New York Local 1322 President James Carlson. “The IAM has the knowledge, experience and strength to deliver a combined collective bargaining agreement that secures the wages, benefits and working conditions we deserve.”

“IAM members in Chicago are looking forward to the process that will welcome our brothers and sisters from Continental into the IAM family,” said Chicago Local 1487 President Tony Liccardi.

FMI: www.teamster.org, www.voteiam.com

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