In the Matter of the
Application of the
alleging a representation dispute pursuant to Section 2, Ninth, of the Railway Labor Act, as amended
involving employees of
26 NMB No. 88
CASE NO. R-6702
(FILE NO. CR-6653)
This decision addresses the application filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT or Organization) alleging a representation dispute among theAMaintenance Operations Controllers@ (MOCCs) of Allegheny Airlines, Inc. (Allegheny or Carrier). The IBT is the certified representative of the craft or class of Mechanics and Related Employees on Allegheny (Case No. R-6618), and the Organization asserts that the MOCCs are part of the craft or class.
For the reasons set forth below, the Board finds that the employees at issue are already covered by the certification issued to the IBT in Case No. R-6618. Therefore, the Board dismisses the IBT=s application.
On March 19, 1999, the IBT filed an application pursuant to 45 U.S.C.' 152, Ninth, covering AMaintenance Operations Controllers@ of Allegheny Airlines, Inc. This matter was assigned File No. CR-6653. The Organization takes the position that these individuals and Maintenance Schedulers (MOCC Schedulers) are already covered by the IBT=s certification as the representative of Allegheny=s Mechanics and Related Employees in R-6618.
On April 21, 1999, the Carrier submitted a position statement asserting that when the IBT applied to represent the Mechanics and Related Employees in Case No. R-6618, the employees at issue were not included. Allegheny argues, therefore, that these individuals should be given an opportunity to vote in an accretion election. The Carrier also contends that these individuals are managers. The IBT also filed a position statement on April 21, 1999, reiterating that these employees are part of the craft or class of Mechanics and Related Employees and that the Board should rule accordingly.
Allegheny filed a response on April 27, 1999, taking the position that the IBT had providedAno substantive evidence to show a work-related community of interest@ between the MOCC employees and the Mechanics and Related Employees. The Organization submitted a reply with supporting documentation on June 14, 1999.
Do MOCCs and MOCC Schedulers on Allegheny Airlines share a work-related community of interest with Mechanics and Related Employees? If so, must the Board conduct an accretion election to determine if MOCCs wish to be represented by the IBT?
The IBT asserts that MOCCs are aircraft mechanics whoAtrouble shoot@ maintenance problems. According to the Organization, MOCCs are not managers because they do not supervise other employees nor do they hire or fire employees. Further, the Organization asserts that these employees are already covered by the IBT=s certification in Case No. R-6618 and, therefore, Aan accretion election is not necessary.@ In support of its position, the IBT cites the Board=s recent decision in Mesaba Airlines, 26 NMB 227 (1999), where the Board found Maintenance Controllers part of the craft or class of Mechanics and Related Employees. The Organization also cites several other Board decisions on the issue of accretion, chiefly Ross Aviation, Inc., 22 NMB 89 (1994), where the Board found that an election was not necessary in order to accrete employees to an existing certification.
The Carrier contends that if the Board finds that MOCC employees are notAsupervisors,@ the Board should conduct an accretion election. Allegheny argues that the IBT had an opportunity to include these employees in the 1998 election, but failed to do so. In support of its position, the Carrier cites a number of cases in which the Board held accretion elections because of Athe lack of opportunity for the employees in question to vote in the class-wide representation election.@ Allegheny also cites the Board=s recent decision in Continental Airlines, Inc./Continental Express, 26 NMB 143 (1999), where the Board found accretion inappropriate due to lack of community of interest.
FINDINGS OF LAW
Determinations of the issues in this case is governed by the Railway Labor Act, as amended, 45 U.S.C.'' 151-188. Accordingly, the Board finds as follows:
Allegheny Airlines is a common carrier by air as defined in 45 U.S.C.' 181.
The IBT is a labor organization and/or representative as provided by 45 U.S.C.' 152, Ninth.
45 U.S.C.' 152, Fourth, gives employees subject to its provisions Athe right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.@ The majority of the craft or class for purposes of this chapter.
45 U.S.C.' 152, Ninth, provides that the Board has the duty to investigate representation disputes and shall designate who may participate as eligible voters in the event an election is required.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
The Carrier has submitted a portion of its General Maintenance Manual which describes the MOCC function, in part, as follows:
The [MOCC] will coordinate and control aircraft maintenance functions during normal flight operations. He will issue MEL . . . and record all incoming flight crew discrepancies. The [MOCC] will provide assistance and instruction to the mechanic in the repair and troubleshooting process.
The responsibilities of the position include:
On Allegheny, MOCCs are requested to hold an FAA Mechanic Certificate with both airframe and powerplant ratings. MOCCs report to the MOCC Supervisor who reports to the Director of Maintenance Control and Support Shops.
The Carrier also has submitted a declaration from Michelle Graybill, Director of Human Resources. According to Graybill, when the election in Case No. R-6618 was held, the Afive MOCC Controllers, three MOCC Supervisors, and two Technical Support Supervisors - did not vote in that election. Instead, the persons who had been represented by and under a contract with the Allegheny Airlines Mechanics= Association (>AAMA=) voted.@ Graybill also states that the position descriptions Ado not fully reflect all of the managerial power that the Maintenance Control personnel have . . . MOCC Supervisors implement Allegheny policies and oversee work . . . . Other Maintenance Control employees coordinate and staff maintenance projects with mechanics, and assign work to mechanics. They can authorize overtime, and even recommend discipline and discharge.@
The IBT has submitted a declaration from John Fogle, Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters= Local for Allegheny=s mechanics. Fogle asserts that these MOCC employees do not have supervisory authority in that they do not hire, fire, or discipline. Fogle asserts further that the MOCC employees at issue do not evaluate or assign work, and that work at each station is directed by a lead mechanic.
The IBT has also submitted the excerpt from Allegheny=s General Maintenance Manual which describes the functions of the Maintenance Schedulers. MOCC Schedulers= responsibilities include:
Section 5.312 of the Board=s Representation Manual provides:
If an individual is determined to be a management official, the individual is ineligible. The Investigator shall consider, in the investigation, whether the involved individual has the authority to discharge and/or discipline employees or to effectively recommend the same; the extent of supervisory authority; the ability to authorize and grant overtime; the authority to transfer and/or establish assignments; the authority to create carrier policy; the authority and the extent to which carrier funds may be committed; whether the authority exercising is circumscribed by operating and policy manuals; the placement of the individual in the organizational hierarchy of the carrier; and, any other relevant factors regarding the individual=s duties and responsibilities.
The Board considers these criteria cumulatively, not separately. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 5 NMB 112, 115 (1973). See also USAir, Inc., 24 NMB 38 (1996); Comair, Inc., 22 NMB 175 (1995); American International Airways, Inc. d/b/a Connie Kalitta Services, 20 NMB 94 (1992); Challenge Air Cargo, 17 NMB 501 (1990); USAir, Inc., 17 NMB 117 (1990); and Tower Air, Inc., 16 NMB 338 (1989). In many cases, the Board finds that while there are certain factors indicating some level of authority, when the factors are viewed cumulatively the individuals at issue may be supervisors, but are not management officials.
The record fails to establish that Allegheny=s MOCC Controllers and Schedulers personnel are management officials. Although the Carrier asserts that these individuals authorize overtime and recommend discipline and discharge, there is insufficient evidence that they actually exercise such authority. There is no evidence that these individuals participate in the hiring process, commit Carrier funds, or participate in the formulation of Carrier policy.
Since the MOCCs and MOCC Schedulers are not management officials, the only issue remaining is whether the Board should conduct an accretion election. In Ross Aviation, supra, the Board re-affirmed its policy against fragmenting crafts or classes. American Airlines, 21 NMB 60 (1993); Eastern Airlines, 12 NMB 29 (1984); Galveston Wharves, 4 NMB 200 (1962). The Board found in Ross that the creation Aof a separate craft or class of Aircraft Inspectors . . . would be contrary to established precedent regarding the composition of the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class and would cause fragmentation and instability.@ Therefore, the Board dismissed the Organization=s application, stating that an election was unnecessary because the employees at issue were already covered by Board certification for the craft or class of Mechanics and Related Employees.
Since then, the Board has consistently followed this policy when it finds that particular job functions are those traditionally performed by members of a certified craft or class. Mesaba, supra; United Airlines, Inc., 25 NMB 365 (1998); United Parcel Service, 25 NMB 326 (1998); Long Island Rail Road, 24 NMB 664 (1997).
The Carrier cites Continental Airlines/ Continental Express, supra, in support of its position that the Board should conduct an election. However, in Continental/Continental Express, the Board found that the employees whom the Organization sought to accrete did not share a work-related community of interest with the employees covered by the certified representative. In the instant case, the employees at issue are responsible for aircraft maintenance, as are mechanics, and in fact work with mechanics. The MOCC employees clearly share a work-related community of interest with the craft or class of Mechanics and Related Employees. The Carrier=s argument that because these individuals were not included in the election in R-6618 they should participate in a separate election now, is not persuasive. To conduct an election in these circumstances would contravene the Board=s policy regarding fragmentation of crafts or classes.
Allegheny=s MOCC employees and MOCC Schedulers are employees who share a work-related community of interest with the craft or class of Mechanics and Related Employees. Therefore, these individuals are covered by the IBT=s certification in Case No. R-6618. File No. CR-6653 is converted to Case No. R-6702 and the application is dismissed.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff
Mr. Ray Benning
Roland P. Wilder, Jr., Esq.
Susan Boyle, Esq.
Peter J. Petesch, Esq.