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January 15, 2013

CWA effort to organize American passenger service agents fails by 150 votes out of almost 6,000 cast

The Communications Workers of America's effort to organize American Airlines' passenger service agents has failed by 150 votes.

The union tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that 2,902 agents voted in favor of a union while 3,052 voted against unionizing. There are about 9,700 passenger service agents at American.

Although not all of the passenger service agents cast votes in the representation election, the CWA only needed a majority of the votes cast to win the right to represent the workers.

American spokeswoman Missy Cousino said the carrier was pleased its employees chose to remain independent.

"American thanks everyone who took part in this election," Cousino said. "The company looks forward to continuing to work closely and directly with our Agents and Representatives as we build the new American Airlines."

The CWA had originally filed its application for a representation vote with federal authorities in December 2011, however the vote was not held until a year later because American had filed several legal challenges to stop the vote.

The Fort Worth-based carrier had claimed the union did not collect authorization cards from 50 percent of workers, as required by a new law enacted in February. The National Mediation Board, which oversees union representation votes, had argued that the previous 35 percent standard should be used since the application for an election was filed under the old standards.

Read more here: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_talk/2012/11/american-passenger-service-agents-get-voting-instructions.html#storylink=cpy
-Andrea Ahles


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casual observer

Since the election was filed under old standards, were these same standards in utilized during the voting process? Under the old standards, that were perfectly fine for the CWA to get the election going, a non-vote was considered a "no" vote. So, going by the same standards that the CWA insisted on implementing to establish the vote, the outcome was actually not close at all. Another 3,000+ "no" votes should be added to the tally.

Andrea Ahles

In response to your comment, the union representation election rule change where only 50 percent of the votes cast are needed for union representation occurred in May 2010. The rule change about 50 percent of authorization cards needed for an election to occur was passed into law as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act in February 2012.


i really am not surprised..the agents have been "courted" a bit by aa to not join for may years..why should the current group feel any different when they see the probable merger coming up and the fact that the pilots basically will be calling all the shots anyway with their stake in the company...

elissa dodge

I'm an agent and I'm really anxious about our future at American with everything going on. But one thing I knew for sure is that I didn't want to be represented by a union in which all the supporters were the people who work the least, complain the most, and frankly aren't very good employees. That's not a group I want to be part of. A message to AA management: Show us you deserve our support.


Sad news. As a former employee, I can tell you that most employees are very miserable and the turn over is huge among new employees. Most of this turnover is due to great inflexibility by the company. Need a day off? Good luck with that. Too sick for work? Call in and you earn an "occurrence" which could lead to dismissal. So why did not enough vote in favor of the union? Almost daily pressure from management to include personal meetings with those thought to be in favor of the union. Many felt they would lose their jobs is they voted in favor.

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