Bloomberg News

American Airlines Sues Mediation Board Over Union Election

May 03, 2012

American Airlines Inc., the bankrupt carrier fighting to cut labor costs, sued the National Mediation Board over a decision directing a union election among a group of nonunion employees.

The board applied the wrong standard when it ordered a union-representation election for passenger service employees, American said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, where the airline is based.

American’s lawsuit comes as it’s seeking court approval to void labor contracts with unions as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. The airline is seeking to cut $1.25 billion in annual labor costs.

American said it has about 10,000 passenger service employees, who work at airport ticket counters, gates and baggage areas. The “vast majority” of them didn’t provide an authorization card expressing an interest in having a union- representation election, American said in its complaint.

A spokesman for the National Mediation Board didn’t return a phone call seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is American Airlines Inc. v. National Mediation Board, 12-00276, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth).

To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at

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