Delta Air Lines Sued For Discriminating Against Former Union Members

Washington, DC – Determined to fight back against discrimination based solely on their status as former union members, several Delta Flight Attendants, with the assistance of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), filed a lawsuit today against Delta Air Lines management.  The lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court on behalf of pre-merger Northwest Flight Attendants, comes after Delta management withheld higher profit sharing checks from over 7,500 pre-merger Northwest Flight Attendants based solely upon their prior union membership.

“Delta is punishing Northwest Flight Attendants for their long history of collective bargaining,” said Veda Shook, AFA International President. “Delta management’s actions are shameful and undemocratic.  Our union supports all Flight Attendants and will not rest until this mean-spirited retaliation comes to an end and all Delta Flight Attendants receive a fair share of the profit that their accomplishments helped to achieve.

In November 2010, pre-merger Flight Attendants lost their over 65 years of collective bargaining rights by only 328 votes after an AFA representation election with pre-merger Delta Flight Attendants, a margin of less than one percent. AFA asserts that since these Flight Attendants no longer have a legally-binding contract, there is nothing preventing Delta management from paying equal profit sharing for equal work. 

Following the recent election for union representation, AFA filed hundreds of cases of election interference charges documented against Delta management.  The union expects investigation of the charges to result in a new election for Flight Attendants who want a contract and rights on the job.  Delta management is punishing Flight Attendants for being former union members by paying different amounts of profit sharing for the same service to the airline.

“Attempting to hold workers hostage by making them choose between their rights and their share of company profits is anti-American.  Delta management espouses a family-friendly company culture, yet their actions are hurting the families of Flight Attendants.  Northwest and Delta Flight Attendants have contributed a great deal to the success of the airline. Their accomplishments and sacrifices should be acknowledged equally.

“Delta’s actions are part of a larger nationwide effort by employers and certain state Governors to destroy collective bargaining.  Results from a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll indicate that Delta management is out of step with American values.  Their attack on collective bargaining is an attack on not only our members, but on Delta’s passengers and the American middle class,” said Shook.
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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 a

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