) -- The labor showdown at
is approaching as a second union has scheduled an election for a major work group.
The National Mediation Board said Tuesday that it has acted on a request by the International Association of Machinists and scheduled an election for Delta's 14,000 fleet service workers. The election will run from Oct. 14 through Nov. 18. The union
requested the election in July.
"This election is only possible because of the overwhelming support from Delta Fleet Service workers," said Robert Roach, IAM general vice president, in a prepared statement. "Delta workers have been very receptive of the IAM's message of fairness on the job, guaranteed wages and secure pensions."
Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin said "Delta employees have been waiting two years for the opportunity to decide whether or not IAM representation is best for them
and we urge them to get the facts, and under the new voting rules, cast their vote in order to be counted."
A rule change
adopted by the NMB in May means that in union representation elections, the outcome will be based on the votes of a majority of the workers who participate -- rather than requiring a majority of eligible voters.
The IAM said it is still waiting for the NMB to act on its request to call elections for Delta's 16,000 passenger service agents, its 700 stock clerks and its plant protection workers.
Meanwhile, voting on the Association of Flight Attendant's bid to represent Delta's 20,000 flight attendants will begin Sept. 29 and run through Nov. 3.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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