The International Brotherhood of Teamsters have filed with the National Mediation Board for a representation election of American Airlines mechanics.
American has over 11,000 mechanics and related positions who are currently represented by the Transport Workers Union. The Teamsters have been campaigning to oust the TWU from American.
"After enduring 20 years of concessions, outsourced jobs, bankruptcy, frozen pensions and an overall lack of respect, we are coming together to bring in the bargaining power of the Teamsters Union, which has the strongest record representing mechanics in our industry," said Bill Wheeler, an American mechanic.
The Teamsters made a similar filing to represent US Airways 3,200 mechanics earlier this month. US Airways mechanics are currently represented by the International Association Machinists.
US Airways and American Airlines are seeking government approval to merge the two carriers as American emerges from bankruptcy.
The National Mediation Board, which oversees union representation elections, will review the Teamsters' application to see if the union collected authorization cards from over 50 percent of the mechanics and related employees at American. If it is determined that the Teamsters met the requirement, a representation election would be held later this year.
TWU International Air Transport Director Garry Drummond criticized the Teamsters' move, saying the Teamsters have allowed airlines to outsource mechanic jobs to China.
"Changing unions is particularly risky while all the critical issues connected with establishing one agreement with uniform rates of pay and working conditions still must be negotiated as part of the American-US Airways merger," Drummond said. "Many mechanics signed cards calling for an election between unions because they believe in democracy, ironically a vote for the Teamsters means that democracy would be suspended."
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is also courting American mechanics but has yet to file for a union representation vote with federal mediators.
American Airlines spokesman Paul Flaningan said its workers have the right to choose which union represents them.
"We hope our mechanics will examine the options and take the time to vote on the path they believe is best for them, their families, and the company," Flaningan said.