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Union says it's barred from airline vote

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A fight over representing American Airlines mechanics will come down to two unions after a third union said Wednesday that it was blocked from the election.

The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, or AMFA, said that the National Mediation Board's ruling denied the workers a fair election.

That leaves the contest between the Teamsters and the mechanics' current union, the Transport Workers.

The Teamsters union is also seeking to oust the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents mechanics at US Airways. If the Teamsters win both elections, they would represent about 14,000 workers at the airline that will be formed if American parent AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. complete their proposed merger.

According to AMFA, the union was late in turning in mechanics' signatures because American Airlines submitted a list of eligible workers to the mediation board within hours of the Teamsters' petition for an election. That moved up AMFA's deadline.

The mediation board, which oversees representation elections, declined to comment.

Both the Teamsters and AMFA have spent several months collecting signatures at American to force an election against the Transport Workers.