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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