Published: Oct 03, 2012 1:43 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2012 6:32 AM EDT

DALLAS (AP) - A federal appeals court has overturned a judge's ruling that had blocked a union election among nearly 10,000 employees at American Airlines.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Wednesday that the lower court should have left alone a federal panel's decision to order an election by American's passenger-service agents.

The ruling is a victory for the Communications Workers of America, which wants to represent the nonunion workers, and the National Mediation Board, which ordered the election.

American sued the mediation board. It argued that the union didn't gather enough signed cards from employees to qualify for an election under new rules approved by Congress.