Appeals court upholds rule favoring airline unions

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2011 4:31 PM
Appeals court upholds rule favoring airline unions

An appeals court has upheld an Obama administration rule change making it easier for unions to organize airline and railroad workers.

The rule approved in May by the National Mediation Board recognizes unions when a simple majority of workers who vote approve organizing. The previous rule in place for 76 years required a majority of the entire workforce to favor unionizing, meaning workers who didn't cast ballots were effectively counted as "no" votes.

The Air Transport Association, which represents most major airlines, sued to block the change. The group argues the change will lead to more labor disputes that could disrupt commerce and increase delays.

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In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the federal appeals court in Washington agreed with a lower court judge that the rule is valid.