In a filing Thursday with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, American Airlines said it plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a decision that permits a union representation vote by American’s passenger service agents.

The carrier asked the appeals court to recall and stay its Nov. 1 mandate while American appealed the decision. That would prevent the National Mediation Board from proceeding with an election sought by the Communications Workers of American.

American said it intends to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court by Dec. 13.

The issue hangs on a February law passed by Congress that said there had to be a showing of interest by at least 50 percent of the eligible voters before the NMB could schedule an election. That differed from the prior NMB rule that required a showing of interest from at least 35 percent.

The CWA collected signature cards on the basis of the 35 percent rule and asked the NMB in early December to authorize an election. The NMB in April ruled that the union had collected sufficient signatures to prompt an election, based on the rules that were in effect when the union applied for an election.

American said the February law should apply and refused to hand over labels with employee names and address as the NMB ordered. The airline filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth. A district judge ruled in American’s favor in June; the appeals court ruled in the NMB’s favor in October.

As of now, the NMB is holding the representation vote, as allowed by the Fifth Circuit, between 11:01 p.m. CST Dec. 4 to 1 p.m. CST Jan. 15 when the board will count the votes.

I’m told American did supply the mailing labels with names and addresses by Tuesday’s deadline as the NMB had ordered after the circuit court’s decision.

In Thursday’s filing American alleged that allowing the election to proceed, even if the CWA loses or if a vote in favor of the CWA is overturned by court action, will hurt the carrier. Even if CWA lost, it could cause “irreparable harm,” and allowing the election to proceed will cause “enormous harm to American’s relations with its employees,” the carrier said in its filing.

Interesting language in its motion, excerpts of which you can read below.

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