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UPDATE 1-US decision would aid union organizing at airlines

WASHINGTON, May 10 (Reuters) - A U.S. labor board has authorized a landmark change in voting rules that could make it much easier to form unions at airlines, company and labor officials said on Monday. The National Mediation Board set aside decades of past practice in a decision that could affect workers at mostly nonunion Delta Air Lines in the near future. Flight attendants and certain ground workers representing thousands of employees are expected to seek representation elections at the world's largest carrier under the change in the Railway Labor Act. Delta said it was reviewing the decision, which stops assigning "no" votes to those who do not participate in representation balloting. The decision was widely anticipated by industry, which could sue to block the change from taking effect, aviation sources have said. Delta shares were up 4.3 percent at $12.20 in early New York Stock Exchange trading. (Reporting by John Crawley; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn) Keywords: DELTA/UNIONS (john.crawley@thomsonreuters.com; reuters.com +1 202 898 8340) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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