NMB Refuses to Remedy Extreme Management Interference at Delta Air Lines

Washington, D.C. -- The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and the Communications Workers of America condemns the decision by the National Mediation Board denying charges of management interference in the November 2010 union representation election.  It is a sad day indeed that it took the NMB one year to do nothing. This is not democracy, not in outcome nor process.

The NMB decision throws out 60 years of bargaining rights for the Northwest Flight Attendants and denies the Delta Flight Attendants any say over their working conditions. The decision ignores the outrageous interference of Delta management in the union election among 20,000 flight attendants.

The NMB found that Delta urged Flight Attendants to vote “NO” as the best way to support another Union, and also found evidence of increased supervisor surveillance in the workplace; that Delta misstated the NMB’s  decertification procedures; incidents of supervisor threats against Union supporters; and most revealing, that Delta ran “an aggressive campaign against union representation.” However, the Board concluded that this coercive conduct did not affect the outcome. 

In the election, decided by just 300 votes, Delta management launched a blatant and persistent attack on Flight Attendants’ rights to fairly choose a union voice and did everything possible to pressure thousands of Flight Attendants who want union representation.

“I am shocked that this country’s cancerous attack on bargaining rights took away my voice at work today, and obliterated the hard work of women and men who came before me to build a contract and a career.  In the face of workplace intimidation nearly ten thousand of us stood up and by the slightest margin our rights were stripped away.  I can’t believe the agency that is charged with overseeing bargaining rights turned its back on me and my coworkers.” stated Delta Flight Attendant Belea Bower.

Given the close margin of that election, Delta continues its determination to keep workers from having a union. This includes lobbying to shut down the Federal Aviation Administration by insisting that an anti-democratic voting standard for union elections be inserted in the FAA reauthorization. Delta seems to be more focused on its anti-union agenda than the performance of the airline, since it has bumped paying passengers to bring anti-worker lobbyists to Congress.

“With this decision, the NMB has now given a green light to all manner of employer coercion and intimidation during representation election that leaves employees with no recourse.  It is a shameful, illogical and cowardly decision,” said AFA-CWA International President Veda Shook.   “The NMB is clearly afraid of the airline of the one percent that showers Members of Congress with perks while at the same time raising its Flight Attendants’ health insurance premiums.”

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 21 airlines come together to form AFA, the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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