May 10, 2010 10:18 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Rule change favors unions at airlines, railroads

The Obama administration has approved a new rule making it easier for labor unions to organize workers at airline and railroad companies. The move is a major victory for unions that have struggled to reverse years of membership declines.

The most immediate impact of the change would be at Delta Air Lines, where unions want to organize about 20,000 flight attendants. Airlines opposing the change say it will lead to more labor disputes that disrupt commerce. The new rule issued by the National Mediation Board would recognize a union if a simple majority of those voting approve organizing.

The old rule - in place for 76 years - required a majority of the entire work force to favor unionizing. That meant workers who didn't vote were counted as "no" votes.


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