The Teamsters wants to represent US Airways’ 3,200 mechanics.On Tuesday, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed an application for a representation election with the National Mediation Board, kicking off an upcoming union battle over the workforce."Because of the Teamsters’ solid, documented track record of excellent representation, the Teamsters Union is the best and most logical choice to represent us for the future as professionals in the airline industry," US Airways mechanic Jim Blanton said in a statement.Currently, US Airways' 3,200 mechanics are represented by the International Association of Machinists. The union has been in contract talks with the Tempe-based carrier since July 2011 and has yet to reach an agreement on a new contract.The NMB, which oversees union representation elections, will review the Teamsters' application to see if the union collected authorization cards from more than 50 percent of the mechanics and related employees at US Airways. If it is determined that the Teamsters met the requirement, the NMB will hold a union vote.The Teamsters said they also plan to file for a representation election for American Airlines mechanics as well. American's 11,000 mechanics and related positions are currently represented by the Transport Workers Union.The TWU denounced the Teamsters actions, saying it is a waste of time and resources to raid another union’s members.“The IBT is behaving like a parasite,” TWU Air Transport Division director Garry Drummond said in a statement. “They are desperately attempting to feed off another organization to cover up their own failures.”If the Teamsters are successful in getting US Airways and American mechanics to switch unions, it will double their membership of airline mechanics. The Teamsters represent about 18,000 airline workers, including those at United Continental.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk