In the Matter of the
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. 29
CASE NO. R-6727
December 22, 1999
On November 18, 1999, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO (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 "Emergency Procedure Instructors" (EPIs), employees of United Airlines, Inc. (United or Carrier). The IAM is the certified representative of the Ground Instructors craft or class at United. United Airlines, Inc., 24 NMB 113 (1996). The IAM application seeks to accrete the EPIs into the Ground Instructors craft or class.
The Board assigned Benetta M. Mansfield as the Investigator.
For the reasons described below, the Board finds that EPIs are covered by the certification in United, supra. Therefore, the IAM's application is dismissed.
On November 18, 1999, the IAM filed an application seeking to accrete the EPIs into the IAM-represented Ground Instructors craft or class.
On December 9, 1999, the Carrier filed an alphabetized list of potential eligible voters, signature samples, and an initial position statement.
On December 15, 1999, pursuant to the Investigator's request, the Carrier submitted the EPIs' job description.
Whether EPIs at United should be included in the Ground Instructors craft or class?
The IAM says that the EPIs share a work-related community of interest with the Ground Instructors it represents and should be accreted in the Ground Instructors craft or class.
United agrees that the EPIs have a community of interest with the Ground Instructors sufficient to be accreted into that craft or class. However, United argues that the Board should conduct an accretion election because the EPIs were not able to vote in the election in Case No. R-6474; and the EPIs would have constituted more than twenty-five percent of the craft or class.
The Carrier says that, if the Board holds an accretion election and the targeted employees choose the IAM, the Board will certify the Organization as the EPIs' representative in the Ground Instructors craft or class. If the EPIs vote not to be represented, the EPIs will remain in the Ground Instructors craft or class and simply not be represented. This, the Carrier asserts, would serve the "employees' well protected right to make a representational choice."
FINDINGS OF LAW
Determination of the issues in this case is governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA or 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-6474 involved eighty-eight eligible voters in the Ground Instructors craft or class.
EPIs were not on the list of potential eligibles submitted in Case No. R-6474.
The Carrier currently employs thirty-four EPIs. The EPIs' job description reads:
Conducts initial, recurrent and requalification training of air crew members in aircraft emergency procedures programs (evaluation, ditching, passenger handling, emergency equipment). Evaluates training progress and counsels crew members as appropriate to ensure their proficiency meets company and FAA standards. Provides input in the development of emergency procedures training policies and procedures. Assists in the development of training programs, materials and training project development work as assigned. Monitors the quality and technical accuracy of flight manuals and materials used in training and in time operations. May conduct emergency procedures training contracted with other airlines, corporations, firemen and other rescue personnel. Maintains a high level of subject knowledge, instruction techniques, and skills. Assists in project and development work as assigned.
The Carrier and the IAM agree that the EPIs share a community of interest with Ground Instructors. The duties and responsibilities of the EPIs reflected in the Carrier's job description place them within the Ground Instructors craft or class. See United Airlines, Inc., 12 NMB 218 (1985). The Board finds that EPIs are part of the craft or class of Ground Instructors.
In Ross Aviation, Inc., 22 NMB 89 (1994), 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 Board has consistently followed Ross Aviation, supra, when it finds the particular job functions are those traditionally performed by a certified craft or class even when the group constitutes a large percentage of the craft or class. See Allegheny Airlines, Inc., 26 NMB 487 (1999); Mesaba Airlines, 26 NMB 227 (1999). The EPIs clearly share a work-related community of interest with the Ground Instructors. Therefore, the Board finds, to avoid fragmentation and instability, an election among these employees is unwarranted.
CONCLUSION AND DISMISSAL
The Board finds that United's Emergency Procedure Instructors are covered by certification in Case No. R-6474 issued to the IAM. As there is no basis for further investigation, NMB File No. CR-6676 is converted to NMB Case No. R-6727 and dismissed.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff
cc: Gary S. Kaplan, Esq.
Mr. Ed Del Genio
Mr. Frank Colosi
Stephen P. Sawyer, Esq.
Mr. R. Thomas Buffenbarger
Mr. Robert Roach