American Airlines-US Airways Employees Choose Steelworkers

TORONTO, MONTREAL, OTTAWA – More than 230 Canadian employees of merged American Airlines-US Airways operations have voted to have the United Steelworkers (USW) as their union.

Over 68 per cent of the airline employees who work at airports in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa voted in favour of the Steelworkers union as their official bargaining agent.

“We are delighted and honoured that these hard-working employees have overwhelmingly chosen the Steelworkers as their union,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.

"We welcome all the new members who are joining our union. We will continue to provide the best representation to our members to ensure they work in safe conditions, are paid a good wage with decent benefits and are treated fairly and respectfully at work,” Neumann said.

Following the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ordered a vote by the 232 Canadian employees to choose a single union to represent them in their workplaces.

Prior to the vote, the Steelworkers represented 112 US Airways employees while 120 American Airlines employees were members of Unifor.

The CIRB-ordered vote took place between Aug. 5-14. The CIRB reported that 68.5 per cent of employees voted for the Steelworkers.

The employees, all of whom now work under the American Airlines banner, are now members of USW Local 1976. They work in customer service, at ticket counters, airport kiosks and in baggage handling.

Contract negotiations are expected to begin this fall between the USW members and the airline. All USW members will receive a survey from the union, seeking their input into the priorities that should be pursed during collective bargaining.

"We look forward to the coming round of collective bargaining to ensure the employees benefit from their significant contributions to the airline’s success," Neumann said.

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Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Mike Piché, USW Staff Representative, 416-543-4770, mpiche@usw.ca
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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