In the Matter of the
TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION OF AMERICA
alleging a representation dispute
pursuant to Section 2, Ninth,
involving employees of
AMERICAN AIRLINES, INC.
29 NMB No. 77
CASE NO. R-6900
July 15, 2002
This determination addresses the representation consequences of the application filed by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU or Organization) for Technical Specialists, employees of American Airlines, Inc. (American), and TWA Airlines, LLC. (TWA-LLC) (collectively, Carrier).
TWU is the certified representative of Mechanics and Related Employees at American (R-6872). The Board finds that the Technical Specialist position at American is properly included in the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class. Therefore, the Technical Specialist position at American is covered by TWU's certification in R-6872.
On December 13, 2001, TWU filed an application alleging a representation dispute involving the following employees of American and TWA-LLC: Mechanics and Related Employees; Fleet Service Employees; Stock Clerks; Dispatchers; Simulator Technicians; Instructors; Technical Specialists; and Meteorologists. TWU asserted that American and TWA-LLC constitute a single transportation system. The application was assigned NMB File No. CR-6743.
On March 27, 2002, the Board determined that American and TWA-LLC operate as a single transportation system for representation of the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class, American Airlines, Inc./TWA Airlines, LLC., 29 NMB 240 (2002). On April 29, 2002, the Board determined that TWU is the certified representative of the entire craft or class of Mechanics and Related Employees in the single transportation system (R-6872).
In its March 27, 2002, determination, the Board converted TWU's application to become the certified collective bargaining representative of Technical Specialists in NMB File No. CR-6743 to NMB File No. CR-6751. Pursuant to the Board's Representation Manual (Manual) Section 19.6, an investigation was conducted to address the issue of the proper craft or class for this position. As part of this investigation, the Board requested additional information from the Carrier. On May 20, 2002, the Carrier provided this information.
STATEMENTS OF FACT
TWU is the certified collective bargaining representative for the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class (R-6872). TWU is the voluntarily recognized representative of Technical Specialists at American. On TWA-LLC Technical Specialists were not represented by any labor organization. TWU seeks to become the certified collective bargaining representative of Technical Specialists.
Technical Specialists have been represented by the TWU since 1997 and are covered by a collective bargaining agreement which is intended "to mirror the spirit and application of the Basic Maintenance Agreement as much as possible." (Agreement, "Notice of Intent".)
Technical Specialists provide technical advice and direction on aircraft structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, avionics, and power plant systems problems. Technical Specialists make recommendations to mechanics on functional tests that should be taken to determine the causes of equipment malfunctions. Technical Specialists receive the same benefits and have the same terms and conditions of employment as American's mechanics. Technical Specialists at American are paid approximately three percent more per hour than mechanics.
The Board's broad discretion to determine the manner in which it conducts investigations in representation disputes was upheld conclusively in Railway Clerks v. Ass'n for the Benefit of Non-Contract Employees, 380 U.S. 650 (1965). The Court held that in determining choice of employee representative, the Railway Labor Act "leaves the details to the broad discretion of the Board with only the caveat that it 'insure' freedom from carrier interference." Id. at 668-69.
In Ross Aviation, Inc., 22 NMB 89 (1994), the Board dismissed the Organization's application, stating that an election was unnecessary because the employees at issue were already covered by Board certification. Since then, the Board has consistently followed this policy when it finds that particular job functions are traditionally performed by members of a certified craft or class. US Airways, 28 NMB 50 (2000); United Airlines, Inc., 25 NMB 365 (1998); United Parcel Serv., 25 NMB 326 (1998); Long Island Rail Road, 24 NMB 664 (1997).
The record establishes that Technical Specialists provide technical advice and direction on aircraft structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, avionics, and power plant systems problems. In numerous instances the Board has determined that employeeswho perform work similar to that performed by the Technical Specialists at American are part of the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class. United Airlines, Inc., 28 NMB 533 (2001); US Airways, 26 NMB 359 (1977); Frontier Airlines, Inc. 7 NMB 406 ( 1980); Allegheny Airlines, 6 NMB 359 ( 1999).
Applying the rationale in United Airlines to the present case, the Board finds that American's Technical Specialists share a work-related community of interest with Mechanics and Related Employees and the position is properly included in this craft or class.
The Board finds that the position of Technical Specialist on American is properly included in the Mechanics and Related Employees craft or class. TWU's certification in NMB Case No. R-6872 (Mechanics and Related Employees) covers this position, and TWU's application to represent Technical Specialists in NMB File No. CR-6751 is converted to NMB Case No. R-6900 and dismissed.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Benetta M. Mansfield
Chief of Staff
Harry A. Rissetto, Esq.
Sheldon M. Kline, Esq.
Richard A. Malahowski
James C. Little
Arthur M. Luby, Esq.