U.S. Senators Booker, Gillibrand, Menendez Call Company’s Anti-Union Tactics ‘Reprehensible’

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2019 — U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter to Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian expressing deep concerns with the company’s ongoing effort to interfere with its non-union employees’ attempt to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

The IAM has been fighting to give Delta workers job protection, consistent work rules, a secure retirement and the many other protections that come with union representation. The organizing campaign consists of Delta Flight Attendants and Fleet Service workers, totaling nearly 40,000 people. Combined, the campaigns are the largest airline organizing drive in the industry’s history. 

“We are proud that New Jersey and New York are pro-union states and that many of our constituents have chosen to be members of a union,” reads the letter. “Union jobs built the middle class in America and it is the middle class that now sustains America’s economy, competitiveness, and quality of life. Union jobs consistently come with better pay, access to high-quality healthcare, increased benefits, and a dignified retirement. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when employees seek to form a union to collectively bargain. Leadership starts at the top, and this anti-union campaign reflects poorly and directly upon you and Delta Air Lines. Such anti-union tactics are reprehensible and have no place in our society.”

Read the entire letter here

“The list of elected officials and allies who support Delta workers’ lawful right to join a union free from threats, retaliation or coercion is growing every day,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “I want to thank these senators from the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations for putting working families first. We are putting on notice any corporation that refuses to respect the rights of working people.”

“The IAM agrees with the senators—this anti-union campaign has no place in our society,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “I want to personally thank them for their support and appreciation of the labor union movement in this country. We hope that Delta Air Lines stops the intimidation and threats against employees who desire to make choices that will benefit their families for generations.”

The IAM has filed election interference charges with the National Mediation Board (NMB) against Delta Air Lines .

A copy of the Senate letter can be found below

May 17, 2019

Ed Bastian, CEO

Delta Air Lines

P.O. Box 20706

Atlanta, Ga 30320-6001

Dear Mr. Bastian,

We are writing to express our deep frustrations and concerns with Delta Air Lines’ ongoing effort to interfere with its non-union employees’ attempt to form a union. Of particular concern is the demeaning and infantilizing anti-union literature being distributed and posted in employee areas and the creation of an anti-union website that attempts to smear unions and workers interested in forming a union.  Delta flight attendants and ground crew are critical to the safe travel of over 180 million customers each year, and these employees deserve to be treated with respect as they pursue their right to unionize.

We are proud that New Jersey and New York are pro-union states and that many of our constituents have chosen to be members of a union.  Union jobs built the middle class in America and it is the middle class that now sustains America’s economy, competitiveness, and quality of life.  Union jobs consistently come with better pay, access to high-quality healthcare, increased benefits, and a dignified retirement.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise when employees seek to form a union to collectively bargain. 

Leadership starts at the top, and this anti-union campaign reflects poorly and directly upon you and Delta Air Lines.  Such anti-union tactics are reprehensible and have no place in our society. Your employees should be free to choose to unionize without unfair influence from management.

With this in mind, we are calling on you to immediately halt this anti-union campaign and issue a public apology.

The IAM is the world’s largest airline union, representing more than 110,000 airline employees in North America. The IAM represented fleet service workers at Northwest Airlines before the carrier merged with Delta. After a bitter, hard-fought representation election, during which the U.S. government cited Delta for numerous violations of labor election rules, the fleet service workers were stripped of their collective bargaining rights. For more information about the IAM/Delta campaigns visit iamdelta.net  and dalramp.org .

 

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