The Association of Flight Attendants has asked the US National Mediation Board to declare the recent merger of United and Continental airlines creates a single transportation unit, which necessitates the need to combine the flight attendant workforce.
Since the companies merged 1 October, each one has continued to operate as a separate unit.
If the NMB declares that the merged airlines operate as a single carrier, an election could be set up to determine the collective representative. The union represents more than 15,000 flight attendants at United. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents an estimated 9,300 flight attendants at Continental. Current flight attendant contracts at both carriers would remain in place after the vote.
"We are trying to resolve this sooner later than later so flight attendants can get the most of the merger," said a spokesman for the AFA.