Ground workers at American request release from mediation

The largest union at American Airlines has asked the National Mediation Board to declare an impasse in contract negotiations. The request by the Transport Workers Union seeks to start a 30-day cooling-off period required under the Railway Labor Act. After that, the 28,000 ground workers represented by the TWU could legally strike against the airline. A spokeswoman for American, which faces a similar action by flight attendants next week, said the airline was "disappointed" in the move after reaching agreement with the union on 87% of contract issues.

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