With the merger announcement coming in late last week, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters hopes to secure representation of nearly 5,000 American Airlines, or AA, mechanics at the Tulsa, Okla., maintenance base.
The Teamsters Union, which represents about 18,000 airline mechanics at 10 carriers, has reportedly received the majority of signatures in Tulsa; Fort Worth, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; San Francisco, Calif.; Newark, N.J., Tampa, Fla., Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas, Nev.; San Antonio, Texas; Phoenix; New York City's J.F. Kennedy Airport and Texas' Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
"With 11,000 workers spread out across the country, this has been a major undertaking that has been led by AA mechanics from the beginning," Chris Moore, a representative of the Teamsters Airline Division and chairman of the TAMC, said in a statement. "It is their passion and desire to improve their representation that drove this campaign and enabled us to get to this point in such a relatively short time."
The Teamsters are up against the Transport Workers Union, which currently represents AA mechanics. The TWU has come out publicly against the Teamsters and has suggested that the organization is raiding American Airlines mechanics during a tumultuous time at the company and that workers would be better represented by their current labor group.
"They are going to see that the promises the Teamsters are making have not been able to carry out those promises at other airlines where they represent mechanics," Transport Workers Union 514 Chairman John Hewitt told Fox News 23 in Tulsa.
Teamsters are currently seeking signatures from more than 50 percent of the labor group, which they would present to the National Mediation Board. The federal board could then call for a vote on union representation.
While signing a card doesn't necessarily mean mechanics support the Teamsters over TWU, it does indicate that they support a vote among members on the matter.
While Moore did not disclose exactly how many cards the brotherhood has acquired so far in Tulsa, he did say that door-to-door efforts, as well as phone calls to gather more signatures, would continue to be made this weekend.