• Approximately 10,000 American Airlines passenger service employees are scheduled to vote in a representation election scheduled for early December through mid-January 2013. The National Mediation Board (NMB) conducted election will determine if the employees will be represented by Communication Workers of American (CWA). The election comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned a district court injunction blocking the election vote on the grounds that 50% of the employees did not sign authorization cards—the threshold required under amendments to the Railway Labor Act (RLA) that became effective in February 2012. Although American Airlines asserts that it intends to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court has denied American’s request to stay the Fifth Circuit’s judgment, thus clearing the way for the election to proceed as scheduled.
  • Unions won a smaller share of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) -supervised elections in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period for 2011, according to a BNA report. Although the total number of representation elections was essentially the same, 683 in 2012 and 679 in 2011, union success rates had decreased from 64.4% in 2011 to 62.4% in 2012. The number of newly organized workers also decreased from 31,371 (2011) to 26,411 (2012). BNA also reported that the Teamsters were the most active union during the first half of 2012, participating in 155 elections and winning 54.8%, which resulted in representation of 3,977 workers—a significant increase over the 2,446 workers organized during the same period in 2011. SEIU organized the most workers, 6,268, in the first half of 2012, winning 70.4% of its 71 elections, all of which are decreases from the 10,661 workers organized in the first half of 2011 following SEIU victories in 55 of 116 elections. BNA also reported that eight industries experienced union election success rates above 50% during the first half of 2012: finance, insurance, and real estate (81% of 21 elections); health care services (71.3% of 122); construction (70.8% of 65); services (67.7% of 310); mining (66.7% of 3); transportation, communications, and utilities (66% of 100); communications only (64.3% of 14); and wholesale (53.5% of 43). Only retail (47.5% of 40) and manufacturing (42.9% of 98) experienced union win rates less than 50%.