In the Matter of the
REPRESENTATION OF EMPLOYEES
COMMAND SECURITY CORPORATION
29 NMB No. 10
CASE NO. R-6856
November 16, 2001
The services of the National Mediation Board (Board) were invoked by the Production Workers Union (PWU) on August 9, 2001, to investigate and determine who may represent for the purposes of the Railway Labor Act, as provided by Section 2, Ninth, thereof, personnel described as "Baggage Handlers," employees of Command Security Corporation d/b/a Aviation Safeguards (CSC).
At the time this application was received, these employees were not represented by any organization or individual.
The Board assigned Sean J. Rogers to investigate.
On November 6, 2000, PWU filed an application with the Board to represent "Baggage Handlers" employed by CSC at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). During the pre-docketing investigation, PWU withdrew its application. Command Security Corp. d/b/a Aviation Safeguards, 28 NMB 305 (2000) (Command Security). This application concerns the same carrier, the same organization, and the same craft or class. The record in Command Security, above, is incorporated into this investigation.
Unless otherwise noted, all dates are 2001.
On August 9, PWU filed an application to "represent employees under the Railway Labor Act who are classified as 'Baggage Handlers' of Command Security Corp. d/b/a Aviation Safeguards." On September 6, PWU filed a position statement, and on September 7, CSC filed a position statement and a List of Potential Eligible Voters. The List of Potential Eligible Voters included 253 CSC employees at JFK and at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the job classifications of baggage handler, utility agent, custom utility agent, and skycap.
On September 28, the Investigator requested position statements concerning the boundaries of CSC's system and the proper craft or class of employees to be represented.
CSC relied on its September 7, submission and the record in Command Security, above. PWU relied on its September 6, submission.
What is the proper craft or class for baggage handlers, utility agents, custom utility agents, and skycaps at CSC?
PWU states that:
[PWU] seeks representation of employees of Command Security Corporation d/b/a Aviation Safeguards (Aviation). The category [is] a class of employees designated as "baggage handlers", employed by Aviation at both JFK International Airport and LAX International Airport. Local 148 seeks representation of baggage handlers both at JFK and LAX.
PWU describes the craft or class as follows:
Baggage handlers are responsible for moving checked luggage from place to place within the carrier's space. Skycaps move passenger baggage from curbside to or from flights. It is possible there may be an exchange of personnel between baggage handlers and skycaps, however, the class or category for which representation is sought is baggage handlers.
The proper craft or class is comprised of 62 CSC employees working as "baggage handlers" identified in the September 7, CSC list of 253 potential eligible voters.
CSC states that:
It provides contract security and non-security services to airline carriers at JFK and LAX. CSC's non-security services are provided by employees in four job classifications: baggage handler, utility agent, custom utility agent, and skycap. CSC states that its "unified management headquarters" in Jamaica, NY, centrally issues payroll to JFK and LAX employees.
While the specific functions of the four classifications differ, the employees share a community of interest. The general nature of the work, organizational groupings, uniform style, training, and supervision of these employees are the same for all four job classifications. Therefore, the proper craft or class includes employees in the baggage handler, utility agent, custom utility agent, and skycap job classifications.
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:
Command Security Corporation is a common carrier as defined in 45 U.S.C. § 181.
The Production Workers Union 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 any 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 CSC's position statement describes the positions of baggage handler, utility agent, custom utility agent, and skycap as follows:
Baggage Handler/Utility Agent
This position handles passenger baggage after check-in through flight departure. Site specific requirements.
Custom Utility Agent
Position handles passenger baggage being processed through US Customs.
Position processes passenger baggage curbside. Site specific requirements.
In addition, CSC's position statements describe the work as follows:
Baggage handlers move checked baggage from area to area within a carrier's space. Utility agents place ticket counter checked bags on belts or charts for transit to the plane. Custom utility agents monitor baggage carousels in customs area and assist passenger retrieval of checked baggage. Skycaps move individual passengers' baggage either to or from flights; additionally they check bags in at curbside.
The Carrier's statements in Command Security, above, and this case establish cross-utilization of these employees and movement from one position to another. The minimum qualifications are the same for all four positions and the employees receive the same customer service and airport security procedures training.
LAX utility agents, custom utility agents, and skycaps are all paid the same hourly wage.(1) JFK baggage handlers and skycaps are paid on a sliding hourly wage scale based on seniority. The JFK skycap scale is lower than the baggage handler scale reflecting the additional income skycaps realize from passenger tips. The immediate supervision at JFK and LAX of these employees is consolidated by terminal, and the overall management, including payroll, is unified at CSC headquarters in Jamaica, NY. CSC baggage handlers, utility agents, custom utility agents, and skycaps wear the same style of uniform at both airports.
In determining the proper craft or class for a group of employees, the Board considers a number of factors. These factors include functional integration, work classifications, terms, and conditions of employment, and work-related community of interest. Continental Airlines, Inc./Continental Express, Inc., 26 NMB 143 (1999); Comair, Inc., 22 NMB 175 (1995); MarkAir, Inc., 22 NMB 1 (1994). The factor of work-related community of interest is particularly important. Continental Airlines, above; LSG Lufthansa Services, Inc., 25 NMB 96 (1997); Airborne Express, Inc., 9 NMB 115 (1981). The NMB makes craft or class determinations on a carrier by carrier basis, based on Board policy and precedent. USAir, 15 NMB 369 (1988); Simmons Airlines, 15 NMB 124 (1988). Furthermore, the Board has traditionally included skycaps and baggage handlers in the same craft or class. International Total Services, Inc., 16 NMB 173 (1989) (Proper craft or class includes skycaps and baggage handlers.) In Transworld Airlines, Inc., 7 NMB 357 (1980) (The craft or class of "All Baggage Handlers" includes skycaps.) In Security '76, Inc., 5 NMB 234 (1976) (Skycaps and baggage claim employees in the same craft class.)
The evidence establishes that CSC baggage handlers, utility agents, custom utility agents, and skycaps must meet the same minimum qualifications and receive the same training. Their broad job functions, wage systems, uniforms, and supervisory reporting arrangements are identical. Therefore, the Board finds these four job classifications share a work-related community of interest and constitute a single craft or class of "Baggage Handlers" at CSC.
The investigation establishes that PWU failed to support its application with the required number of authorizations from employees in the "Baggage Handlers" craft or class at CSC pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1206.2(b). Therefore, the Board finds no basis on which to proceed. The application is converted to NMB Case No. R-6856 and dismissed subject to 29 C.F.R. § 1206.4(b)(2).
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff
1. This hourly wage is required by the California living wage statue.