US Airways mechanics and technicians now have enough signatures to call for a union vote. At a news conference in south Charlotte, they announced that nearly 3,000 mechanics and technicians signed a petition to hold an election to be represented by another union, the Teamsters. Mechanics complained about low wages, high insurance premiums and poor representation by their current union, The International Association of Machinists. Luis Martinez is a lead mechanic for US Airways in Charlotte.
"There's a lot of unhappy people at US Airways," Martinez says. "A lot of angry mechanics -- angry in the sense that they're not getting what they're supposed to be getting as far as compensation from the company. And also there's the respect. We're not getting the respect from management that we should for the type of work that we do."
The election, which is expected to take place later this summer, is pending approval from the National Mediation board. The Teamsters union says it also plans to file paperwork to represent mechanics at American Airlines. American Airlines will merge with US Airways later this year.