sAn election to determine whether 14,000 ramp and cargo employees at Delta Air Lines Inc will have union representation will be held beginning next month, a labor group said.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said the National Mediation Board set balloting for fleet service workers at Delta to run from Oct. 14 through Nov. 18.

Delta has been largely nonunion but it incorporated thousands of union employees with the acquisition of Northwest in 2008. Representation elections are now being sought to determine whether more than 50,000 workers at the Atlanta-based carrier will join the union.

Earlier this month, the National Mediation Board set an election date of Sept. 29 to Nov. 3 to determine if 20,000 flight attendants at Delta will be represented by the Association of Flight Attendants union.

The elections follow a change in federal law that took effect earlier this year under which the outcome will be based on the number of ballots cast, potentially making it easier for unions to prevail. The previous rule required a majority of an entire work group to approve unionization, effectively counting those who did not vote as “no” votes.

“Delta people have waited two years for the chance to vote for or against IAM representation,” Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin said in a statement. “Given the new voting rules, employees must vote to be counted.”

Joseph Tiberi, a spokesman for the machinists, said the union is also seeking to have elections for 16,000 ticket and reservation agents at Delta and two other smaller work groups. (Reuters)