Topic of the Week: Will Delta’s Flight Attendants Join a Union?

Delta, Labor Relations

Seems like a “labor” kind of week after Monday’s post, but let’s talk about Delta this time. Delta is kind of an anomaly in that it’s relatively non-union compared to its peers. That includes flight attendants… for now. The IAM has been waging a campaign to unionize and now it has filed for an election. What do you think? Should the flight attendants go union?

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92 comments on “Topic of the Week: Will Delta’s Flight Attendants Join a Union?

  1. It’s not really clear that going union will improve things for the flight attendants. The threat of going union is enough to motivate DL to pay them well and keep them happy-ish about work rules. If they actually go union they introduce the whole complexity of the additional motivations of union leadership and union elections into the mix, which doesn’t necessarily work to their benefit.

    1. My exposure of the IAM does not allow open dialogue to discuss the pros and cons of what a union could provide, it is one where non-union thoughts are criticized or ridiculed. No acceptance of free thought, they attempt to brainwash you and then attempt to tell you that unless you are on their payroll you cannot and should not have a ‘say’. Guess what? Delta flight attendants can think for themselves as we have for decades, so we do not need representation against management. (You do not need protection if you do your job RIGHT; which we do and will continue to do.) Bullying is unacceptable and your stalkerish ways of showing up to my house to sign something I did not ask for is dangerous, bullying peers to sign cards is not cool.

  2. I think they will. Their pilots have had bigger wage increases, have a longer minimum day, etc so if you can’t convince management to be fair and give these simple things without a union then maybe it’s time for one.

  3. No – Unions have brought down so many companies in the past – including
    Eastern Airlines – regardless of what people think. I worked for them for
    25 years and as non-contract employees we were treated better than union
    members – no dues and all the benefits……

    1. I am sure you simply “forgot” about Frank Lorenzo…band by an act of congress from ever working or owning an American airline.

  4. The “threat” of a Union has been dismal at best. The flight attendants have already voted “no” several times in the last 10 years and still are not industry leading in pay & benefits. Meanwhile, Delta’s pilots and management are exceeding their competition.

    Of approximately 20,000 flight attendants, well over 12,000 authorization cards have been signed to organize. I think those numbers speak volumes right there, especially after the NMB rule changes a few years ago

  5. I don’t think this will happen. First, this union doesn’t exactly have a great reputation. TWA, anyone? They sold those flight attendants down the river and most lost their jobs. I lived in St. Louis when that was going on — it was a shame to watch what happened to people’s lives. My neighbors lost their house. Sad.

  6. Delta Flight attendants have already voted 3 times to not have a Union on the premises. We have great compensation and benefits without a union and the benefit of a Management team that listens to their employees. Why would we want to start over with a contract to try to get back to what we presently have and of course have to pay to do this!

    No Union Please!

    1. I agree with you, PH. At the time I resigned we had already turned down the union once. In a big way. I was so happy. And, there were three airlines that Delta acquired that had been union. Doesn’t that say something about the union. Some of those former union employees voted for the union, most voted against.

  7. I am a Delta flight attendant and I DO NOT want a union. Delta has treated me very well my entire career, there is truly no need for a union, it is not in our culture. A union will only bring in hostility and handicap my workplace with inefficient bureaucracy; who benefits from that? Not me, not the passengers, no one. The union is not here to make my workplace better, they are only motivated by this vote for their own pocketbooks and the $$$ that will bring them. I can speak for myself and I like my one-on-one with Delta!

      1. So does anyone believe that an ALPA representative is sticking there neck out to make a comment on whether the Flight Attendants unionize?

        1. Just why would it be “a risk” to support a democratic voice at Delta?

          Surely, you are not implying a threat?

          Moreover, Delta believes in allowing its employees to make their own decision.

          Are you speaking for Delta?

  8. Going union could hurt the employees and the shareholders. The IAM has a horrible track record and cannot guarantee any improvements to the Flight Attendants. There is currently an open door policy, and the Company has the right to respond to its employees needs as they see fit. A union would prevent this from happening. One thing that Delta is known for is their culture and customer service. A union relationship between the Flight Attendants and management could greatly change that culture, and thus, change the customers experience. The Flight Attendants need to realize that a union is not a fix-all, and any improvements they want to receive could take a lot longer to receive with a union in place.

    1. SO…are you trying to say that the pilots union has a closed door at Delta?

      You can’t split hairs. Delta has had unions on its property for decades and has gotten along just fine with them.

      It is strange that some think flight attendants would be treated worse than other unions at Delta/

      1. So Pilot Union, has ALPA (your union) done anything to stop Delta from driving the regional airlines into bankruptcy (race to the bottom) and paying the regional pilots food stamp wages? Now that may decrease the percentage of profit sharing you take home, but those are your “union brothers” right? Like lets say at Endeavor, that Delta owns….

        You can’t be splitting hairs. Delta owns Endeavor and pays it pilots and flight attendants there very poorly. And doesn’t get along with them at all.

        It is strange that some think that Regional Pilots would be treated better if ALPA and the Major Airline Pilots took a stand. Because we all apart of the same union right?

  9. I remember that the IAM represented the TWA flight attendants before and during the merger with American.What a complete flop – AA stapled the TWA flight attendants to the bottom of the seniority list, and I believe most of them lost their jobs. I know the TWA flight attendants sued AA, and when the case was dismissed, the judge told them they should have sued IAM for duty of fair representation. Why would any flight attendant group, or any group for that matter, want to join the IAM?

    1. Actually you DON’T.

      FYI…the IAM had nothing to do with TWA flight attendants. Stop spreading lies.

      TWA was represented by an independent union.

      1. Watch us delta rank and file get another round of “unscheduled” pay increses soon as our FAs vote NO…

            1. PilotUnion, I think you are incorrect… the IFFA only lasted until 1997 according to the very article you pointed out. If you read the article linked below, it clearly says the IAM was the F/A union, so any issues with how the merger went would be directed at the IAM.


              Based on these two articles, it would appear that the IAM took over representation of the TWA F/A’s in 1997.

  10. No Thank You! We shouldn’t be giving the IAM $12 Million Dollars in Dues!! Period!! Empty promises!! They just want the money and they don’t care about the employees. They know the group is large and they can benefit from it!! Thats it!! #nounion #noIAM!!

  11. Unions have been trying to organize Delta flight attendants for years…and why not? $12 million a year would definitely add to their coffers. Delta flight attendants have a positive work environment, good pay, benefits, and the ability to work with the leadership team to make adjustments to benefit all. They have received an increase of at least 3% per yer for the last 8 years (far higher than the avg increase for most airlines), profit sharing that is far above other airlines, positive changes to work rules, shared rewards, scheduling flexibilities that allow flight attendants to customize their schedules…all without a union. Why would they even consider a bureaucratic, cumbersome 3rd party to slow down the ability to make changes that make sense.

  12. This is the 4th time the “threat” has come to Delta flight attendants and I believe they are the most professional and best flight attendants in the airline industry. The culture of Delta is so unique and has stood the test of time for over 80 years. This group of professionals will stand up to maintain their unique culture. There is a reason that Delta is so success…it is the people of Delta that make the difference and their direct relationship with management.

  13. Facts, not emotions, are what we need right now. At Delta, we are leading the industry in overall compensation, and others are trying to catch up. Do we need to look for and pay for a change to what we have? And what will that change be? What is the platform that we are being asked to vote for AND to literally buy in to?
    Further, let’s all do a little research. Does IAM have an unblemished, transparent business record that we want to pay to be part of???

  14. Unions in general have lost their relevance, especially within the airline industry. What are they going to do if they don’t get their way? Strike? Even with the current administration, it would disrupt consumer travel to the point of insane. And besides, what’s a bunch of machinists going to do for flight attendants? This makes no sense at all.

  15. I use to work for Alaska Airlines were I was forced to pay union dues to the IAM for the two and a half years I was there. About a year before I left Alaska to join the ranks of the elite at Delta, I had filed a grievance with the union. About 3 years in to my career with Delta, I received a letter in the mail from IAM stating that they had denied my grievance because I was no longer working for Alaska Airlines. So over the course time I paid hundreds of dollars to the union in which case they could not even give me a fair and timely ruling.

    In the mean time I just hit my 7 year anniversary with Delta Air Lines, and in 7 years I have seen a dramatic change to the aviation lifestyle. I am making more money than I ever have in my 18 year aviation career, partly due to the Pay increases that Delta has given its employees across the board above and beyond my annual step increases. I have received some of the highest Profit Sharing Checks that were ever given to me. Delta Air Lines is making more money than its competition and doing so because their employees enjoy coming to work everyday to show the Delta Difference. Delta has gone through great lengths to improve its aircraft, improve the customers experience and our work environment both on and off the aircraft. My office space have been dramatically changed to make coming to work much more enjoyable and we have selected many of the BEST possible Flight Attendant Candidates to help us keep the Delta Culture running strong. My currently monthly schedule was something that one could only dream off having at any other airline, which is why these candidates have decided to leave other legacy carriers to join our family. And yes Delta is my FAMILY. So in my eyes, the Union Free Delta Culture will be here to STAY! WE WILL STAND TALL AND SPEAK FOR OURSELVES

  16. For 22 years of my business life I traveled almost monthly to the Orient. Generally between Minneapolis and Malaysia. Many times I would see the same flight attendants and got to know some of them pretty well – even seeing them more frequently than my family. I saw the ups and the downs of Northwest – and it was visible on the faces of many of their employees. As times passed, my travels gradually began to slow as technology advanced, voice conferencing, video chatting became a business norm. I will say that when the merger happened – a lot of things came to the unknown. What would happen to my status as a flyer with WorldPerks, route structure, and ease of travel connections. Delta honestly didn’t have the best track record at the time and I quite honestly was looking at other options for my business. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that something changed. It was like a breath of fresh air. Delta employees seem to be so much happier, friendlier, and seem to enjoy their job more than any one single flight attendant that I got to experience at Northwest (or any other airline that I have flown, and I have flown many). Delta obviously is doing something right for its flight attendants and it is why I am now a 3x million miler. I enjoy their service, their planes, their flight attendants. I hate to say it but sometimes I sit back and I silently play a game (who worked for who) in my mind, and I can generally tell the happy from the other. From my experience with airlines, airline workers, unions, and the demeanor in whole of unionized flight attendants – I truly believe this would be a big setback for the flight attendant population at Delta and their happy customers. There is a reason Delta is number one in many schematics, and I assure you, the flight attendants are at the top in more ways than they even realize. It is quite a shame that this will interfere – and if any flight attendants read this, from the perspective of a frequent flyer, please dont change what you have – we like you the way that you are!

    1. As a Delta Flight Attendant I read your comments with pride. We at Delta love our job and our customers and we want your travel experience to be one that you enjoy. We appreciate your business and I hope we will continue to serve you well with a smile on our face.

    2. To our dear Delta Medallion Flyer:
      Thank you for your kind words. I already am grateful for my job but yet one more reason. People like yourself who help me have a nice life and are good to us as our best customers.
      I was once walking out of the LA Metro station in my town of Long Beach and saw a “Gold Medallion” tag on a man’s bag … I thought “He’s one of Our Own!” and waved to the guy … he probably thought I was nuts, but oh well … as a Delta flight attendant I would say that we are taught and it becomes contagious to enjoy our job and be nice to people and that is contagious. Pure and simple. Not that it happens 100% of the time … but it is what is expected from us. And it is after all much easier than being mad all the time like the union carriers that feel cheated out of something. UA f/a’s and now AA f/a’s have done this for years. And attitude starts at the top … from Delta’s history:
      – Mr. C.E. Woolman believed in the Golden Rule and gave it to his employees as the Standard of Service from the very start of the company so long ago. This has lasted unto this day. Good things last.

  17. Was just reading online that United may be outsourcing 2,000 or more IAM ground jobs at airports across the country. It seems to me that IAM should be working to resolve that issue before organizing a group that that traditionally has been treated very well by Delta Airlines. I guess the IAM will need the Delta flight attendant dues to make up for the lost dues when the UAL folks lose their jobs. Sorry but I just have to say it, IAM is a lousy union. Good luck Delta flight attendants. Hope you don’t mistake the mistake of your lives.

    1. I don’t think DL flight attendants (or any other DL ground staff) should be unionized. My story has nothing to do with DL but here goes:

      I am a UAL customer service employee (over 37 years) and I am a union (IAM) member. I was never pro-union but feel being unionized is the lesser of two evils. Why?
      Since the CO takeover of United, it was evident that they (top-heavy CO management) sought then succeeded in maintaining their pre-merger mindset in every way. First it was the inferior computer system (SHARES) that replaced the more robust Apollo/Fastair tying the hands of employees, which caused the defect of tens of thousands of passengers to DL and AA. The gap is a chasm. Several other inferior CO computer systems continue to replace United’s well functioning, more effective systems (ie., mechanics, planners, inflight areas, etc.) with CO’s cr@p and those folks are complaining like we did (but it’s falling on deaf ears, CO just does what they want). Now we have the expected outsourcing of thousands of employees (already about a thousand were replaced with vendored flunkies in October 2014).
      Seriously, I think this is CO’s way of getting back at legacy UAL employees who voted to retain (IAM) union representation. They (CO) made it very, very difficult for months while the IAM negotiated with top brass to reach agreements. They made every effort to talk UAL employees out of staying unionized…..”give us a year to see how we do without a union”. Unfortunately I believe the IAM had to compromise at the urging of the Company and write in clauses to allow “some” (certain percentage of) outsourcing both above the wing and below the wing over a period of time to get the contract finally expedited. We (the voters) didn’t necessarily endorse that but that’s what happened. They use the excuse of saving their annual $2 billion dollars but at the cost of quality of life, jobs, families
      The question was, What will CO do to us if we don’t stay unionized ? What will happen to wages, work rules, vacation, travel benefits, etc?. We knew the answer immediately when the “merger” on 3/3/12, while facing our customers, was the CO attitude loaded with total arrogance and disdain by their employees. They laughed at UAL employees that we were the inferior of the two groups; didn’t know how to run an airline. We found out once “merged” how they ran things and it was so far from the size and scope of United airlines, it was not to be believed. CO took the name of United only but everything United was elbowed out of the way and trampled over in a figurative and literal sense. Make way for Continental.
      So, my point….for some of us in this industry, the IAM union is at least a voice between the company and the rank and file. Without it, we would have been at the total “mercy” (or victimization) of the arrogant and disdainful CO management.
      Thankfully, DL employees are not going through this debacle, so they should probably not get unionized. Their management seems to care about their employees and hopefully keep pace with wages and work rules that are fair and equitable.

  18. NO TO IAM! Really IAM? 12,000 DL FA want a VOTE! 60% Independent polls show this Number is BS! I know I never said I wanted a VOTE! I wonder if my name is on one of those cards. Delta has always been great to me. I don’t need IAM to represent me.

  19. Sorry IAM but you’re wasting your time and your constituents’ dues – those fools at Delta will never unionize. It’s been tried before, and they just don’t get it. Move on. They are a disgrace to the industry.

    1. Your comments are a disgrace. Exactly what we don’t want at Delta. Mean spirited, rude, uncaring unprofessionals who show no respect for others opinions let alone the customer. We did not come from the war zone of Pre-merger Northwest, constantly fighting management. We have consistently ranked our company high in employee satisfaction. We are sick of the Union being rammed down our throats So yes please do us the favor and don’t waste your time soliciting. I for one will be voting NO For the fourth time. Me and the rest of the fools as you say.

      1. Pat F . . . . ? Pat Friend former President of the AFA who lead the previous charge to unionize Delta? Hmmm . . . ??? If not, the name is strange coincidence. But I’ll be sure to share those comments with as many Delta people as I can, just in case it really did come from the former President of AFA who wasted millions in union members dues in the lost cause of trying to unionize Delta flight attendants.

  20. IAM, really? What a joke. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if that bunch of thugs Xeroxed their own signatures and claimed the flight attendants sent in cards. I don’t buy this at all.

  21. The time for unions is long gone. The thugs and crooks of the IAM are scum. As the president of the IAM in his own words stated the day the 12,000 cards were delivered to the NMB “this is a great day for the IAM”, yes it would mean millions of dollars for the corrupt coffers of the IAM. Not one word did he utter about the benefit to Delta Flight Attendants; why because there aren’t any.

    After the IAM lost their representation at the merged Continental and American Airlines the IAM is desperate for the money that Delta Flighg Attendants would provide them in the way of dues
    Go away and leave Delta Air Lines to its rich history and open door policy; they have an amazing management team that continues to surpass all expectations of its stock holders, it’s employees and it’s competitors. Keep climbing Delta!!!!

  22. I’m a very proud Delta Flight Attendant. Delta Airlines is the most coveted airline for which to work and that is with good reason. We have a unique culture. One that has not been corrupted by the lies misrepresentation that Unions infuse into their employees!! We have successfully kept a union out and with good reason – when something is broken at Delta – it is fixed. We have a direct relationship with our leaders – who are the best in the Industry – they are available, I trust that they have our backs – and do with good intent – what is right for us!!!!! I also want to point out – Unions have destroyed other Airlines – namely Eastern Airlines. They had a work environment that was very toxic and that toxicity was fueled by the Union lies. Unions, and particuarly the IAM, spread negative and untrue information to their employees – they would rather see an Airline fail – I have friends at both AA and UA and there is so much unrest – and I have asked these friends ‘has your Union ever said – “what your Airline did for you this past year was really amazing), whatever the topic – the Unions put a negative twist on everything to not only make the company look bad and instill mistrust –
    their primary function is to infuse that bad energy to make employees feel like they need them) and frankly – I do not want to work in an environment – the IAM has been ousted by other Airlines. When AA acquired TWA – the TWA flight attendants were tacked to the bottom of the seniority list – and then furloughed. And finally – I would add – that I have flown with many of the new hires we currently have and many have left other years and in many cases given up years of seniority to come and work for Delta – this to me, speaks for itself – as they say ‘the proof is in the pudding.’ They have not saved any of the Airlines who have disappeared and gone bankrupt over the years. In fact – in my opinion they would rather see an Airline – or any company for that matter fail – than to say something positive or collaborative with their company. And the IAM (a machinists union) representing flight attendants – how can this make sense – and I know many of those cards that were turned in, while they may have a name, date, etc., attached to it – I know many of these new flight attendants were either bullied into signing a card – or intimidated into thinking that they would help us in some way – complete nonsense. IAM – please go away!!!!!!!

  23. I come from a place that if you have good leaders, are a good employee, are rewarded and recognized for your efforts aren’t your advocated representing you?

    Why has any faction been trying to creep into the doors at Delta for so long. If they shared “It’s a great day for Delta” vs. their interest it would have made an impact.

    If they truly are fighting to “represent” us then for 2 years have the dues be $0. Build your cause, prove your worth, show hard working employees what your real cause is.

    No company is perfect. Though I can comfortably say that Delta Air Lines have given me the tools, support and encouragement to raise the bar and be rewarded for it.

  24. The last effort in 2010 was turned down by only a few hundred votes, there have been two other unionization votes in the airline industry in the past year and they both passed, whether you want to call that a trend I’m not sure since no two workplace situations are going to be the same but if I was Delta I would be a bit nervous. If the signatures are verified an election is supposed to be held in 4 to 6 weeks. In answer to the question I will say it will pass by around a 60-65% margin.

  25. Delta Flight Attendants will not choose the Machinists for representation; they’re much smarter than that. They understand that facts speak louder than promises and can drown out the innuendo and cries from IAM advocates. The whole ‘campaign’ to collect the cards the Union submitted has been a window into the world that the union-free group would become and it’s not a pleasant sight. Flight attendants immediately began to question the number of cards turned in to the NMB and in many cases, their own that they signed after advocates mislead them.

    And why wouldn’t they question the IAM? Have you not seen the corruption among the Machinists? What about Article L in their Constitution? It not only allows, but it outlines exactly how a ‘member’ would be terminated if they speak ill against the union? How’s that for the democracy unionists tout? It’s a great thing Delta doesn’t have an Article L, ’cause there’d be quite a few union advocates in the employment line at the regional airlines IAM represents… waiting years for a contract, and a decent salary.

    If history is a guide, the election could be at a razor-thin margin. Following the merger with Northwest, an election was automatically triggered and the result was 51-49 with no representation winning. This is after Northwest brought almost 8,000 union members to the new company; they only needed a couple thousand Delta folks to join them but still couldn’t win. Now seven years later, Delta Flight Attendants have averaged more than 3% raises annually, improved work rules combining the best of both companies (Delta was superior in most, if not all, pay components at the merger although NWA was unionized and represented by AFA.), and will in a few weeks receive the remainder of their record profit sharing check, likely to equal two months salary.

    History won’t be a guide in this election; instead, IAM will be history. Delta Flight Attendants will vote no to the inept union, just like all five departments represented by them did following the merger. These cards turned into the NMB were to call for an election, not a card of support. The past decade has seen nothing but union drama at Delta and it’s exhausting.

    Delta Flight Attendants are savvy and should seek facts. Think about the environment of the past couple years, the comments and actions of the advocates. Now, imagine that for the rest of your career and suppose these folks are in charge of sitting across from Richard Anderson. Scary, huh?

  26. I’d love to know how many of these commenters are individuals rather than corporate anti-union shills suggesting how “savvy” flight attendants are and that they should “seek the facts”. Delta has a long history of being anti-union and supporting anti-union efforts. Northwest was long union.
    Funny how the vote was 60% pro and the comments here are probably 95% against. Probably pure coincidence.

    1. There hasn’t been a vote. The nearly sixty percent of cards that were submitted simply are to call for an election. A signed card doesn’t equate necessarily to a yes vote for the Machinists.

      1. Especially when I was intimidated and harassed to sign a card. It was just easier to sign and get them off my back. Don’t worry when there is a vote I’ll be voting NO. Too bad there isn’t a H*** NO option!

  27. Those IAM people who pulled up to my house last month reminded me of the pest control commercial where 2 thug cockroaches drive up in front of a house in an old car. How desparate were they coming to Peachtree City?!
    A union at Delta would be the end of Delta as we know it. As a friend of mine said who used to belong to the union when he drove for a trucking company “the unions only protect the sorry”.
    Anyone considering voting for the union had better think twice. Everything we now enjoy will come off the table & be renegotiated….and we might not get it back. Delta is a wonderful company. Let Delta manage Delta.

  28. Will the unionization effort succeed this time? Probably, especially since the NLRB has done much to stack the decks in favor of unions during organizing drives. Would that be a good thing for Delta and their FAs? We’ll see.

    One thing I do find interesting – notice the positive tone of the comments of the (presumably) DL employees objecting to the union drive towards management vs. the vitriol posted a few days ago when Cranky put up a post that apparently didn’t bash AA management sufficiently and/or wasn’t sufficiently glowing towards the APA. That seems to speak right to the point Andrew is making above.

    1. The NLRB does not oversee our elections. Instead, it’s the National Mediation Board. Regardless, it’s still very union friendly with two of three of its members being former union officials themselves.

  29. Oh,to Paul…we are real flight attendants, not corporate anti-union shills. We appreciate our job & benefits. I’ve been content for 40 years. Why in the hell would I want a union sticking its nose into Delta’s business after all this time?

  30. I read Delta flight attendants are worth 12 million dollars a year in union dues to IAM. That’s over $32,000 PER DAY. No wonder unions have harassed Delta flight attendants for the last 6-7 years to unionize. Seems all very self-serving to me. I hope these flight attendants think twice before voting yes…once a union takes hold…there’s no going back.

  31. To ***
    You are so typical of a union person only thinking of yourself. I think of Delta first & namely the passengers who are the reason for my paycheck! So yes, Delta’s business does come before my business.
    I have a great idea! Why doesn’t everyone who is unhappy with Delta just quit?! Go get yourself a 9-5 job, weekends off, & two weeks of vacation a year. It might suit you much better.

  32. I think it has a shot. Delta is made up of former Northwest FAs, who were unionized. If some of them can convince others to jump on the bandwagon it could happen.

  33. An interesting question is how much does Delta benefit being a non-unionized shop in a union marketplace?

    By necessity they’ll need to pay at or near the market rate which for FAs is set by the other union shops, but they get the benefit of having a direct line to their employees.

    That being said, there also is the interesting thing of what happens when the union partners with employees and the company, just take a look at Southwest, which most folks don’t realize is quite unionized as a result of their culture, though that is probably changing soon.

  34. I am a Delta Flight attendant starting my 25th year next month. I do NOT want a union. I love my job and when you fly on my plane, you’ll love your service because I am HAPPY!! The union will do nothing but take money from me and divide the employees from management. We have a unique airline and are successful and strong on our own. I have my own voice, thank you!!

  35. Seems to me past Delta flight attendant’s rejection to unionize were more about dismissing Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) than they were about acceptance of non-union workplace.

    AFA is well known for pettiness; promoting hostile management/employee interaction. The question then becomes “does IAM bring different mindset ?”

    In other words, can Delta maintain its culture despite flight attendant’s IAM representation? Indications suggest this was the case during during IAM’s tenure representing Continental flight attendants.

  36. The supporting link says that 60% of Delta’s FA support A VOTE on the subject, NOT that they necessarily want union representation. Delta is well known for having a lot of Senior Mommas pushing those aisle carts and some of them have been around long enough to have genuine faith in their employer. I don’t know the outcome, but will 20.5k eligible will vote against having a union. Don’t count the chicks until the hens have finished laying! And never, ever cross a Senior Delta Momma, whether a chick, a pilot, a gate agent or a lowly SLF, Pax. It ain’t over until the hens have spoken.

  37. So IAM sends me this list of all of these “guaranteed” items Delta flight attendants would get in a contract. So from my understand they already get the majority of these items without a contract. I AM SMARTER and Delta is very smart not to be agreeing to IAM.

  38. The idea of voting in the IAM is embarrassing for Delta flight attendants. I’m surprised Delta’s Pre-Merger Northwest colleagues are not reminding their Delta counterparts how the IAM treated their mechanics when the IAM represented their workgroup. On my Delta flight today in Minneapolis, I asked the gate agent boarding the flight what she thought of the IAM courting the flight attendants. The agent blatantly said, “run away!” The IAM represented former NWA CSAs and it seems the same sentiment was shared towards the mechanist union. It was just the other day I read in the news, United plans to outsource several thousand CSA jobs, who happen to also be represented by the IAM. Speaking of United, the IAM was voted out and AFA voted in during the CO/UA merger. The dirty laundry list of IAM continues with numerous charges of embezzlement among its leadership. All that said, Delta flight attendants want the IAM to be the voice for their workgroup? Embarrassing. My experience with Delta is that it is an airline that runs it’s business with integrity – the IAM does not see eye to eye with the values Delta holds. They are better off without the IAM and as my gate agent said today, RUN!

  39. Let me start out by saying that the majority has spoken. 60% of DL FAs are ready for change. Our airline has profited billions of dollars and we see are seeing pathetic 3% wage increases. Our healthcare is BEYOND insulting and THE worst and most expensive in the industry. The flight attendants are tired of being compensated by being thrown dog bones here and there. The free food, blankets, headsets, incentive programs, like we are in Pre-K. Delta constantly tells us we are the industry leading FAs. We are expected to provide the highest level of service to our customers. We expect to be treated this way. We deserve it. Our pilots get everything they ask for. They have an industry top contract and an outstanding relationship with Delta and guess what? They are unionized. I had a 45 year original Delta South pilot tell me today that we were all fools of we don’t vote yes this time. The company has already begun their anti union tactics. A small raise will most likely come to us in the next couple months to make us feel like we have a voice. No one knows what it truly is like here unless you work here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working for Delta. They are a smart and innovative airline. They know how to make money and profit. They have a great product and they know how to take care of their customers and I am proud to be a part of that every day. Cloth that said, they also know how to pretend to be a “family”, how to enforce the “Delta Culture” and how to be the “Delta Difference”. It’s drilled in our heads every day. They will spend millions to keep the us from unionizing and they will play dirty but I know that the workgroup will vote yes this time. We are at a different place now than we used to be. The numbers show. Support us in Solidarity!

    1. LOL! Guess what DLActivist, EVERYONES Heath Insurance is BEYOND insulting. Do you watch or read the news? American Airline Flight Attendants got their contract based on what Delta was paying there flight attendants. Delta pays there flight attendants more than United Flight Attendants. I know many people who would be happy to get 3% raises and the kind of profit sharing Delta gives their Flight Attendants. You talk about the company playing “dirty” but is IAM going to people houses and intimidating them into signing cards, playing “fair”? Bring a union in would actually be a pay cut for these flight attendants. They get the same as they have now only then they have to pay a union to get it.

      Union are no longer the answer, they are dying organizations. Proof of the dwindling number of union members.

    2. DLActivist — You seem to be talking out both sides of your mouth: on the one hand, you complain vigorous about your healthcare insurance and being “thrown dog bones here and there.” On the other, you say you enjoy working for Delta. Then you proceed to complain again about the DL’s culture and it being forced down your throat. So which it is?

      About the pilots, well they have ALPA, which probably represents their constituency better than IAM ever could or would be inclined to do so for FA’s. Form your own in-house representation and use the pilots’ playbook of negotiating one or two improvements each time the opportunity presents itself. Unionizing out of pique, and especially going with IAM, (what airline labor group in recent memory have they actually helped?), will not really benefit anyone in the long run. In other words, use Delta’s culture to your advantage, rather than as a battle cry. It’s not NWA management you’re dealing with, after all!

  40. Dear DL activist, I sure hope you are not an activist. Although, you do present yourself in the same manner as one. You bring a tone of “I have been jipped of happiness in my life” to your writing style. Perhaps you should evaluate your relationship with your parents to determine if you developed an unhealthy outlook on how the world treats you. To say the pilots get everythug they ask for is down right silly. It’s unfathimable and if truthful why don’t they make millions? Using your interpretation all they’ll need to do is ask and they’ll receive. You say “a small raise will most likely come to us in the next few months” what rock do you live under? A raise was announced months ago to take affect in April. You say you spoke to a 45 year Delta South pilot. I hope,you meant a 45 year “old” because if you are telling us he has or had 45 years seniority that’s impossible. Pilots have mandatory retirement at age 65. 65-45=20. It’s not possible that he began a pilot career over 45 years ago at the age of 20. How are we supposed to find anything. You say credible? I hope the people that do not work for delta reading this see what we have to deal with now at delta.

    1. To my knowledge, the election hasn’t been scheduled, let alone votes cast. Signature cards may or may not signify pro-union sentiment.

    2. To my knowledge, the election hasn’t been scheduled, let alone votes cast. Signature cards may or may not signify pro-union sentiment. Perhaps save the celebratory tone should the IAM win.

  41. I’m up here In the great Northwest at what appears to be a very pro-union flight attendant base. What the IAM does not know is that many of us have been stalked, hounded, and bugged to the nth degree to sign a card, to further the IAM agenda. I have more than a handful of friends who like me, came from NWA, and have seen the benefit first hand of being out from under a “contract.” It has been such a cathartic experience for us to be rid of the constant drama and negative influence the union brought to us all those years. They may have a card on file for me, it was just far easier to sign and be left alone. I will definitely be voting no for the IAM.

  42. In my quite lengthy career at Delta, I have found it almost embarrassing to explain my pay & perks to people with “real” jobs. They are are so jealous of me & how easy I have had it. I feel badly explaining about my pay & flexibility. Not to mention the travel bennies. And for those of you making complaints about changes to our healthcare, I believe you can thank Obamacare for that!
    Anyone who complains about treatment by Delta must be an unhappy, dissatisfied person anyway. Someone who doesn’t appreciate what they already have. Delta could pay you $100 an hour & it would never be enough.
    I personally DO NOT CARE what anyone at any other airline has! I have had a very content career at Delta without threat of strikes & strife. The union f/as I have come in contact in my career have been lazy, unfriendly, uncaring, & rude. As a union sympathizer male flight attendant said to me many years ago when I expressed concern over his turning the meals on much too early…”I don’t give a …. how they’re cooked”. Really? By the way, he’s still flying! I can only hope for the sake of our passengers that somewhere along the way he actually gave a ….!
    NO to the union thugs!

  43. So I’m sitting in first class cruising along to my destination and the lady across the aisle hands something to the flight attendant. It looked like some kind of card or something. So I took off my headphones to easedrop and I couldn’t believe what I heard. This passenger was trying to tell the Delta attendant of all the “benefits” of IAM and why she should join the union. Seriously! Wow like the flight attendants aren’t busy enough to be harrassed by their own passengers about the union. Be smart Delta people and don’t go down that road.

  44. Just finishing reading Holly Hegeman’s weekly issue of Plane Business Banter. It seems quite a few airline analysts believe AAL will have higher operating margins and PRASM this year than DAL. Forgot where in the post I read it, but it applies to this debate: AAL has no profit sharing; DAL does, and that may, on paper at least, may give AAL a competitive advantage. Also, AAL had no fuel hedging to write off; DAL had to record $1.24 billion mark-to-market loss from fuel-hedging. Financially, at least, AAL is beginning to nip at DAL’s heels.

    Bearing those two items in mind, how would much better would DL FAs be without profit sharing? It would seem possible Richard & company might opt to drop profit sharing for FAs in hammering out their contract with the IAM. Do the FAs think the IAM can get better work rules, pay, and health plans out of Delta? I think IAM is out for itself and hopes to sucker DL FAs in…hmm, UA IAM-represented workers come to mind.

    Hopefully, DL flight attendants will see how little unions can improve their lot. Negotiating becomes adversarial, union politics consume workers’ time and energy, management really does become “them,” and voila, a very different work environment and company culture.

  45. I have been working for delta for over 4 years now. I was not qualified to cast a vote during the last elections for my department. I would have voted no anyways. Well, i had the experience of working with 25 year seniority “ex nwa” and “delta only” people. Ex nwa people were always cranky and always unhappy about something, typical “if aint one thing its another” type of attitude. They can absolutely find the worst in the best, they were never upbeat, despite this kind of mentality, they are topnotch people outside of the work enviormemt, great parents and great friends, i do think them being run by the union for the longest time has drilled in this kind of work attitude. Delta only people are usually casual, upbeat, helpful and has almost nothing negative to say about delta. At just a handfull of years with delta i feel that my direct leadership has gone out of their way to welcome me. I say to all our delta flight attendants to please stay away from union. I may not be the best judge of this but i had the chance to compare between to really distinct backgrounds…all the best to you and we love you just the way you are!

  46. After reading all the comments, I really believe the union people are unhappy, disatisfied with life, the glass is half empty mentality.
    Most Delta people are happy people & glad for our jobs & all that we have. We’re not used to the bickering, disharmony, & demands of the union types. But we will get loud & fight back to prevent that sleezy IAM from ever getting their foot in the door at Delta.

  47. And one more thing. During the last unionization attempt, my f/a friend & I had a couple f/as approach us in SEA when they saw our NO UNION bag tags. They told us in spite of the fact that they had pro-union bag tags on their luggage, they were NOT for the union. But the pressure is so great to conform to the other union people that life is just easier for them by going along with program. But they were voting NO. Thank you SEA f/as!

  48. Having just been bamboozled into the union, after the merger, by allowing furloughed UA people to vote. If the Delta F/A’s vote to be unionized, then they would deserve whatever happened next for being so STUPID!!! CO was doing well without the IAM. Were we perfect? Of course not. But it is extremely simple; CO was poised for better things, then along came this ill-fated merger, the union, and now look at UA. Consistently in the cellar in all metrics, and destined to stay there for the foreseeable future, because of all the turmoil associated with joining a group that is just another entity with their hands in our pockets, and their eyes on our CO fully vested pension fund.

  49. Delta is far from perfect. They treat us very well though. Our overall pay ,benefits and flexibility we have as employees cannot be touched by another airline. These people will ruin our company. Delta has treated me very fair during my long career.

  50. Be careful in what you wish for!!! Once
    You vote in a union it’s done! There’s no turning back and you can never get rid of them!! Is that what you really want ??
    So if your on the fence in your decision
    Please educate your self and read, read
    All the facts. A union can not make Delta pay you more money they can not make Delta change your insurance policy! It’s all nonsense!!! Lies lies lies!!!
    GET THE FACTS!!! Before you really decide!!!

  51. Count me in as another PMNW who will be voting NO to the IAM. I’ve spoken to current and former IAM represented Express Jet flight attendants and the IAM is doing NOTHING for them other than taking and increasing their dues. All the while they have been waiting for more than FIVE YEARS for the IAM to negotiate them a new contract, calls to base reps go unanswered and grievances are ignored. Did I mention that they continue to raise their dues?? I have better pay, profit sharing, incredible schedule flexibility that I NEVER had at Northwest. All we are to the IAM is 21,000 $$$ signs.

  52. After reading the comments, especially regarding the “culture change” with a union. Delta pilots and dispatchers have a union…. they seem happy. SWA f/a’s have a union. they seem happy. Alaska f/a’s unionized and winning the JD Powers award consistently…. must be happy. I was under the impression that Continental flight attendants were happy with their industry leading pay that IAM negotiated for them, prior to the UA merger. So, I have to call BS on the notion that a unionized group and a happy work environment are mutually exclusive. If having contracts work for management, and pilots, and dispatchers, there seems to be no reason why it couldn’t work for the Delta flight attendants.

  53. 27 years with NWA as a FA and never a need for a union for me at least. I would love to get those union dues back. Now all these years with Delta and No union. I can’t complain. I know that I can be fired at any time because of anything but I do my job the way its supposed to be done and I will not have to worry.
    The bad thing is as I watch the corporate people making a ton of money and the pilots making a haul – we are paid near the bottom as FA and its obviously not fair. But the greed of Delta Corporate and the greed of the pilots union make us out to be – well worth nothing. I make less money every year it seems so paying union dues is what will turn everyone off and of course our benefits are getting worse to. Delta corporate must absolutely love us FA as we just do as we are told and watch everyone else make more money. Last time I checked a Delta flight can’t take off without any FA??????

  54. If so many want a union then why don’t they leave Delta and go work at an airline like AA, UA, SW that have a union. I’ve been with Delta for 45 yrs. and have enjoyed non-union status. Many of my friends at other unionized airlines have always said, “If you don’t have one, you don’t need it” since you already receive a good salary and benefits. After reading what IAM has to offer we already have. I don’t need to pay an organization to negotiate for me. If I don’t like something at Delta I can voice my opinion, good or bad and won’t risk termination. With the IAM if you say anything negative you are terminated. You don’t work for Delta anymore, you work for the union. I urge all Delta flight attendants to educate yourself on this. Be careful what you wish for. Junior flight attendants beware, A-Days are far better than full month reserve. Be grateful.

    1. The majority has spoken! 60% of your fellow coworkers have expressed their interest in union representation. You should all respect that even if you don’t agree with it. It’s no longer a NWA/DL thing anymore. There are far more PreMerger DL FAs and Post Merger DL FAs than PreMerger NW FAs and that just goes to show that Delta FAs are ready for change. It will happen and you will need to embrace it when it does. I know I sure will!

  55. One thing is clear…this board is CLEARLY monitored and posted by an over the top ANTI UNION machine.

    The broad insults to former Northwest Airlines employees reeks of the “drive a wedge” tactic used by certain organizations past.

    I flew Northwest for decades and it was by far one of the most professional airlines in the world. So, I beg to differ. Moreover, it was always a money making machine…even while entering BK. That can’t be said about Delta before its merger.

    The posts are classic over drive of industrial relations.

    Its quite a turn off to customers.

  56. ‘Additionally, the machinists union was rejected by all five work groups it sought to represent following the Delta-Northwest merger, but with membership having declined steeply, it’s no surprise it is eager to secure a big-business deal of potentially $12 million annually in new revenue from our flight attendants’ paychecks.”

    Delta’s statement concluded, “Working directly with Delta leaders, Delta flight attendants have enjoyed greater pay increases than flight attendants at other airlines since 2007, and they have a superior package of top-tier pay rates and an industry-leading profit-sharing program, along with competitive benefits and flexible work rules. Quite simply, our flight attendants deserve better than the IAM.”

  57. MOST DEFINITELY! Without a union, there is NO PROTECTION!! Delta can do anything (unfairly) to employees & they can’t do a dang thing about it!! Delta “Forced” my husband and I to retire when the merger happened. A judge told us that was illegal and we’re fighting it with the IAM. Its been a few years now, but with a union there’s at least SOME hope!!,—;

  58. Wait until Delta is no longer profitable, history repeats itself in this industry, enjoy the ride while you can. With no job security layoffs are inevitable and then Bankruptcies to follow. Northwest FLT Attendants, continue to fight for your Union rights. As soon as Delta begins to layoff and park planes, the tides will shift, hopefully it will not be to late to Unionize. Remember how Delta treated it’s employees when things were not so well?

    1. I find it interesting that most of the Anti-Union protesters will not post their real names-questionable.

  59. Did you forget?
    Mr. Grinstein yesterday presented a transformation plan to the company’s board aimed at helping the nation’s third-largest airline pull out of its three-year financial tailspin, during which it has lost more than $5.6 billion and shed more than 16,000 jobs. The plan includes restructuring its route system, fleet and cost structure, he said in a letter to employees, without providing specifics.

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