Flight Attendant Union Applauds U.S. Senators for Telling Delta Air Lines to Remain Neutral in Union Organizing Campaigns

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2024 – Delta AFA Flight Attendants and the over 50,000 Flight Attendants of the Association of Flight Attendant-CWA applauds 25 U.S. Senators, led by Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), telling Delta Air Lines to remain neutral in union organizing campaigns for approximately 55,000 workers at the most profitable U.S. airline.

AFA is currently organizing with 28,000 Delta Flight Attendants. The International Association of Machinists (IAM) ramp, cargo, and tower workers, and the Teamsters are supporting technicians and related crafts.

Delta Air Lines management has survived and threatened employees with termination for organizing for their union. Airline management hosts anti-union website and distributes literature threatening workers seeking to organize.

“All workers should have a free and fair choice to join a union, as is required by law,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “We strongly urge you to adopt a neutrality agreement with regards to any efforts by your employees to unionize and to commit to negotiating in good faith if you employees do choose to form a union.” 

The U.S. Senate support follows a bipartisan group of more than 150 members of the U.S. House, led by the House Labor Caucus, who called on Delta to remain neutral toward unions.

“Union busting doesn’t fly in 2024,” said Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President. “Every Senator who signed this letter backed up workers and the law. And we thank them. This is a bright spotlight on Delta’s obligations under the law. Under the Railway Labor Act airlines have no role in their employees’ free right to decide to form a union. But that hasn’t stopped Delta management from spending tens of millions of dollars and hours of effort to keep workers from gaining the right to bargain. By joining more than 150 of their colleagues in the House, these senators are demonstrating their commitment to working people and our rights.”

“The IAM is eternally grateful to Sen. Butler and every U.S. Senator who are championing the rights of Delta Air Lines workers,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “Delta workers are being subject to an extremely hostile work environment as they exercise their right to form and join a union. It’s past time for Ed Bastian and Delta leadership to do the right thing and allow their workers to make their own decision on unionization free from harassment and intimidation.”

Unionized Delta pilots recently endorsed the joint IAM, AFA-CWA, and Teamsters campaign to organize Delta workers. 

“Delta is receiving a message loud and clear from the U.S. Senate and beyond – ‘cut out the scorched-Earth anti-union campaign now,’” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “The IAM, our labor coalition and Delta workers will continue to demand that Delta respects its own workforce by allowing them to make their own decision about joining a union.”

Delta Air Lines is the only U.S.-based mainline carrier where a union does not represent flight attendants, fleet service, and mechanics – only 20% of Delta workers are unionized. 

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