A federal judge has temporarily stopped a union-organizing election at American Airlines that was to begin next week.
U.S. District Court Judge Terry R. Means said Wednesday that American was likely to win a lawsuit seeking to stop the election among passenger-service agents, so he granted a temporary restraining order.
American says the union didn't get enough signatures to qualify for an election under new, tougher rules that took effect in February.
The airline released the following statement on Wednesday:
"American Airlines is pleased the U.S. District Court granted our request for a temporary order to prevent the NMB’s union representation election, pending the Court’s review of the merits of our complaint. In addition, the Court denied the NMB’s motion to dismiss our complaint, and found that American has shown a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the merits of our legal position.
The Court’s ruling prevents the National Mediation Board from going forward with the election process it had scheduled for this month for our Agents and Representatives.
Now, as we have hoped all along, the court will have a full opportunity to review and rule on whether or not the correct law was applied in the NMB’s decision to call for an election. We stand by our view that the law prohibits an election from taking place in light of the fact the CWA has publicly admitted that less than 50 percent of our employees supported the union’s election application," said Missy Cousino, with American Airlines.
The National Mediation Board had scheduled voting to begin June 21 and run through Aug. 2.
The Communications Workers of America are seeking to represent nearly 10,000 agents who take reservations and work at airports. It's the largest group of nonunion workers among American's 73,000 employees.