August 15, 2001
John J. Gallagher, Esq.
Margaret Spurlin, Esq.
Counsel for Midway Airlines Corp.
1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2400
Re: Midway Airlines Corp.
NMB Case No. R-6824
Mr. Gallagher and Ms. Spurlin:
This determination addresses the appeal filed by Midway Airlines Corp. (Midway or Carrier) of Investigator Susanna Fisher's eligibility rulings. For reasons discussed below, the Carrier's appeal is denied.
On May 31, 2001, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM or Organization) filed an application pursuant to Section 2, Ninth, of the Railway Labor Act, alleging a representation dispute among Midway's Mechanics and Related Employees. The application was docketed as NMB Case No. R-6824 and Investigator Fisher was assigned to the case.
On June 22, 2001, the National Mediation Board (Board) found a dispute existed. Ballots were mailed July 27, 2001.
The IAM filed challenges to the List of Potential Eligible Voters on July 11, 2001. The Carrier responded on July 18, 2001. Investigator Fisher issued rulings on July 27, 2001. The Carrier filed this appeal on August 2, 2001.
The IAM challenged the eligibility of 15 "Stock Clerks and Stock Leads." The IAM asserted that these employees do not share a work-related community of interest with Mechanics and Related Employees.
The Investigator ruled the individuals ineligible to vote, citing Braniff International Airways, 1 NMB 456 (1948); Comair, Inc., 9 NMB 2 (1981); and International Air Service Company, LTD. (IASCO), 19 NMB 146 (1992).
In its appeal, Midway reiterates the arguments presented to the Investigator, i.e., that "Stock Clerk duties are more directly related to support of Midway's aircraft mechanics than are many of the other positions the Board has found to be part of the Mechanics and Related craft or class." In addition, the Carrier states that "a contrary decision would result in needless proliferation of very small crafts or classes of employees at small air carriers and destabilize labor relations."
The IAM responded to the Carrier's appeal on August 8, 2001. The IAM argues that the Investigator's decision is in accord with Board precedent.
In representation cases, the burden of persuasion required to overrule an Investigator's preliminary determination rests with the appealing participant. National Airlines, 27 NMB 594, 596 (2000); Aeromexico, 27 NMB 448, 451 (2000).
The Board has consistently found that employees performing Stock and Stores functions are in a separate craft or class. IASCO, above; Comair, above; Western Air Lines, Inc., 4 NMB 74 (1965); Braniff, above. In Comair, the carrier asserted that Stock Clerks share a work-related community of interest with Mechanics and Related Employees. In both the Braniff and Comair cases, the parts and supplies employees and maintenance employees worked in the same areas. The Stock Clerks and the Mechanics in both cases had similar benefits, hours, and compensation. Additionally, during certain hours, Stock Clerks and the Mechanics in both cases shared the same supervisor. Even with these similarities, the Board determined in both the Braniff and Comair cases, that the Stock Clerks constituted a separate craft or class.
After reviewing the evidence and submissions presented, the Board finds that the Stock Clerks at Midway are not part of the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class.
The Board upholds the Investigator's ruling that Midway's Stock Clerks are ineligible to vote in the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class. Therefore, the following employees are ineligible:
Douglass E. Brown
Arturo S. Colon
John Benjamin Fletcher
Ronald A. Karns
Esther E. Laing
Anthony R. Loftus
Hugh J. Messer
George E. Poirier
Christopher P. Siwierka
Jose G. Solla
Tyrone Anderson Utley
Their ballots, if cast, will not be counted. The count will take place as scheduled, at 2 p.m., EDT, Friday, August 24, 2001.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff
Mr. Robert Roach
Mr. James Conley
David Neigus, Esq.