In the Matter of the
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
alleging a representation dispute pursuant to Section 2, Ninth, of the Railway Labor Act, as amended
involving employees of
United Airlines, Inc.
27 NMB No. 25
CASE NO. R-6719
December 16, 1999
On October 19, 1999, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM or Organization) filed an application with the National Mediation Board (Board) pursuant to 45 U.S.C. § 152, Ninth, alleging a representation dispute among "Cargo Regional Key Account Representatives" (RKARs), employees of United Airlines, Inc. (United or Carrier). The IAM is the certified representative of the Passenger Service Employees craft or class at United. United Airlines, Inc., 25 NMB 411(1990). The IAM application seeks to accrete the RKARs into the Passenger Service Employees craft or class.
The Board assigned Sean J. Rogers as the Investigator.
For the reasons described below, the Board finds that RKARs are already covered by the certification in United, supra. Therefore, the IAM application is dismissed.
On October 19, 1999, the IAM filed an application seeking to accrete the RKARs into the Passenger Service Employees craft or class represented by IAM pursuant to United, supra.
On November 3, 1999, the Carrier filed an alphabetized list of potential eligible voters, signature samples, and an initial position statement. On November 12, 1999, the IAM filed a position statement.
On December 9, 1999, pursuant to the Investigator's request, the Carrier submitted the RKARs' job description.
Whether RKARs at United should be included in the Passenger Service Employees craft or class?
The IAM asserts that the RKARs share a community of interest with the Passenger Service Employees it represents and should be accreted in the Passenger Service Employees craft or class. The IAM says that United failed to include the RKARs on the eligibility list the Carrier prepared in United, supra.
The Organization says it "won the . . . Passenger Service representation election by more than 500 votes. An accretion election among the 47 RKAR's would serve no practical purpose."
In addition, the IAM argues that under Ross Aviation, 22 NMB 89 (1994), "[c]onducting an election among only a small portion of the craft or class is tantamount to allowing fragmentation of the craft or class." Ross, supra, at 94.
United agrees that the RKARs have a community of interest with the Passenger Service Employees sufficient to be accreted into that craft or class. However, United argues that the Board should conduct an accretion election because the RKARs, or "targeted employees," were not able to vote in the election held in Case No. R-6595.
United says, based on Hawaiian Airlines, 15 NMB 193, 195 (1988): "[i]f the Board finds the craft or class into which the organization is seeking to accrete the targeted employees as appropriate, the Board will typically conduct an accretion election among the targeted employees because these employees were unable to express their wishes in the original election."
The Carrier reasons that if the Board holds an accretion election and the targeted employees choose the IAM then the Board will certify the Organization as the RKARs' representative. The Carrier concludes that, "[t]o hold otherwise would permit organizations to avoid the electoral process and the fair choice it represents for the parties."
FINDINGS OF LAW
Determination 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:
United Airlines, Inc., is a common carrier by air as defined in 45 U.S.C. § 181.
The IAM 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 "the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing. The majority of the craft or class of employees shall have the right to determine who shall be the representative 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.
FINDINGS OF FACT
The election in Case No. R-6595 involved 17,938 eligible voters in the Passenger Service Employees craft or class. Of this total, 9,485 employees voted for IAM representation.
The Carrier omitted the RKARs from the list of potential eligibles submitted in Case No. R-6595.
The Carrier currently employs forty-seven RKARs. The RKARs' job description reads:
Works with cargo sales and service teams on behalf of assigned key customers to assure the highest level quality service. Provides assistance to customers in planning and tracking shipments to meet their specific and unique needs. Facilitates or conducts space firming, prioritization of shipments and related track and trace activities, and communicates proactively with customers to keep them informed about their shipments. Coordinates responsibilities with regional cargo sales and warehouse operating organizations.
The Carrier and the IAM agree that the RKARs share a community of interest with Passenger Service Employees. The duties and responsibilities of the RKARs reflected in the Carrier's job description place them within the Passenger Service Employees craft or class. The Board finds that RKARs are part of the craft or class of Passenger Service Employees.
In Ross, supra, the Board determined that creating a separate craft or class of Aircraft Inspectors at Ross Aviation would be contrary to established precedent regarding the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class, and would cause fragmentation and instability. The Board was aware that the Aircraft Inspectors were not given the opportunity to vote in the representation election among Mechanics and Related Employees. However, the Board found that such "an election among only a small portion of the craft or class is tantamount to allowing fragmentation of the craft or class."
The record establishes that this case involves nearly the same facts as Ross, supra. See also Allegheny Airlines, Inc., 26 NMB 487 (1999); Mesaba Airlines, 26 NMB 227 (1999). The Passenger Service Employees craft or class is nearly 18,000 employees, while the target group of RKARs is approximately forty-seven employees. Moreover, the record reveals that these forty-seven employees were merely omitted from the list of potential eligibles prepared by the Carrier in Case No. R-6595. Therefore, the Board finds, to avoid fragmentation and instability, an election among such a small portion of employees is unwarranted.
CONCLUSION AND DISMISSAL
The Board finds that United's Cargo Regional Key Account Representatives are covered by the certification in Case No. R-6595 issued to the IAM. As there is no basis for further investigation, NMB File No. CR-6675 is converted to NMB Case No. R-6719 and dismissed.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff