In the Matter of the
alleging a representation dispute
pursuant to Section 2, Ninth,
involving employees of
28 NMB No. 75
CASE NO. R-6826
This determination addresses the application filed by the United Independent Union (UIU or Organization) seeking to represent "Ramp Agents at the Philadelphia International Airport," employees of Delta Air Lines Global Services, Inc. (DGS or Carrier). Because the Organization failed to provide a showing of interest on a system-wide basis, the application is dismissed.
On April 24, 2001, UIU filed an application covering DGS' Ramp Agents at Philadelphia airport. This application was assigned NMB File No. CR-6719, and Mary L. Johnson was assigned as the Investigator.
On April 30, 2001, DGS filed an initial position statement raising a system question. On May 17, 2001, the Investigator established a schedule for position statements on the scope of the system. The Carrier filed its statement on May 18, 2001. The Organization did not file a response.
What is the system for purposes of representation for DGS' Ramp Agents at Philadelphia airport?
According to DGS, the Carrier employs 4,000 employees, with 2,800 Fleet Service Employees at 43 airports. DGS asserts that there are 160 employees at Philadelphia. DGS states that its labor and employment relations are centrally controlled, and that all employees are subject to the same operating procedures, training, and benefits. In addition, the Carrier states that there is a common seniority system and employees wear common uniforms. Finally, DGS asserts that paychecks for all DGS employees, including those at Philadelphia, are centrally issued.
UIU did not file a position statement.
FINDINGS OF LAW
Determination of the issues in this case is governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA and Act), as amended, 45 U.S.C. §§ 151-188.
DGS is a common carrier as defined in 45 U.S.C. § 181.
UIU is a labor organization 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 any craft or class of employees shall have the right to determine who shall be the representative of the craft or class for the purposes of this chapter."
45 U.S.C. § 152, Ninth, provides that the Board has the duty to investigate representation disputes and to designate who may participate as eligible voters in the event an election is required. In determining the choice of the majority of employees, the Board is "authorized to take a secret ballot of the employees involved, or to utilize any other appropriate method of ascertaining the names of their duly designated and authorized representatives . . . by the employees without interference, influence, or coercion exercised by the carrier."
STATEMENT OF FACTS
History and Corporate Structure
W. Martin Braham, DGS' President submitted a declaration. According to Braham, DGS, then known as Delta Staffing Services (DSS), was created by Delta Air Lines, Inc. in 1995. In late 1996, DSS began to bid on contracts with Delta to provide ground services, baggage and cargo handling, interior aircraft cleaning, and "provisioning of aircraft supplies" at some of the smaller Delta stations. In late 1997, DSS began to perform these services for other airlines. In 1998, DSS became Delta Air Lines Global Services, Inc., and in May 2000 it became DGS.
DGS provides staffing and support services to Delta, Continental, Midwest Express, and other airlines. DGS has approximately 4,000 employees, 2,800 of which perform the services described above at 43 United States airports. Approximately 800 DGS employees provide office clerical and administrative assistance to Delta on a short term or temporary basis. Approximately 125 DGS employees work on a contract basis to supplement Delta's pilot training, and 275 DGS employees provide security services at Delta's general offices and other buildings in Atlanta, Georgia. There are 160 DGS employees at Philadelphia International Airport.
DGS' operations are run from its corporate headquarters in Atlanta. Rich De Pastino is Regional Manager for Philadelphia and seven other DGS locations. De Pastino reports to Robert McCay who is System Manager for 24 DGS locations. According to Braham, "although managers at stations around the system may take preliminary steps to develop new contracts, they refer back to corporate headquarters for final pricing and negotiation of contract terms."
Labor and Employment Relations
DGS' labor and employment relations are centrally controlled from Atlanta by Boyd McBurnett, System Manager-Human Resources. All DGS employees use the same employee handbook, and are subject to the same training and personnel policies. All DGS employees receive the same benefits and are covered by the same health benefit plans. All DGS employees are assigned a date-of-hire seniority date, which they retain if they transfer to other DGS locations. All DGS employees wear the same uniforms. All paychecks are issued from the same source.
The RLA provides for representation on a craft or class, system-wide basis regardless of work locations. American Eagle Airlines, 28 NMB 371, 381 (2001). As the Board stated in LSG Lufthansa Services, Inc., 25 NMB 96, 108 (1997), the Board's longstanding practice is to conduct elections across a carrier's entire system. See Summit Airlines, Inc. v. Local 295, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 628 F. 2d 787 (2d Cir. 1980). See also International Total Services, 20 NMB 537 (1993), America West Airlines, Inc., 16 NMB 135, 141 (1989); Long Island Rail Road, 24 NMB 664 (1997).
The record establishes that DGS' operations in Philadelphia are part of larger, nation-wide system, with a craft or class performing "ramp" work consisting of approximately 2,800 employees.
Showing of Interest
29 C.F.R. § 1206.2(b) provides:
Where the employees involved in a representation dispute are unrepresented, a showing of proved authorizations from at least thirty-five (35) percent of the employees in the craft or class must be made before the National Mediation Board will authorize an election or otherwise determine the representation desires of the employees under the provisions of section 2, Ninth, of the Railway Labor Act.
The investigation established that UIU failed to support its application with the required number of authorizations from the employees in the craft or class.
Therefore, the Board finds no basis to proceed in this matter and the application is hereby dismissed. File No. CR-6719 is converted to Case No. R-6826 and closed.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff
John J. Gallagher, Esq.
Margaret H. Spurlin, Esq.
Jay Milone, Esq.
Mr. Francis J. Chiappardi
Mr. Ronald J. Ferguson
Stephen Richman, Esq.