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December 22, 2013

No. 10 American passenger service agents reject union representation

It was still a "no" the second time around for the Communications Workers of America.

The union had tried to organize American Airlines' passenger service agents but the representation vote failed by 150 votes.

In January, 3,052 workers voted against unionizing while 2,902 agents voted in favor. There are about 9,700 passenger service agents at American and although not all of them voted, the CWA needed only a majority of those cast to win the right to represent workers.

It was the second effort by the CWA to unionize the work group. In 1998, the workers rejected the CWA's organization effort with only 41 percent of eligible workers voting in favor of joining the union. At the time, American had over 14,000 agents.

This time around the union had to fight American to even hold the vote. The CWA had originally filed its application with the National Mediation Board for a representation vote in December 2011 but American filed several legal challenges to stop the vote. 

American had claimed the union did not collect authorization cards from 50 percent of workers as required by a new law enacted in February 2012. The vote, however, was finally allowed to go forward in December 2012 with the results announced in January 2013.

-Andrea Ahles

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