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Northwest Flight Attendants To Remain Focused On Contract During Merger

Date: April 15, 2008

Washington, DC - As Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines today officially announced the merger of the two carriers, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) Northwest Airlines Master Executive Council President Kevin Griffin issued the following statement:

"Our top priority now is to work with our Delta colleagues to preserve our union representation and to negotiate a contract that combines the best from our Northwest contract and the best from the Delta policy manual, along with raises and other long-overdue improvements into a legally enforceable contract.

"AFA-CWA has worked extensively on a broad-based strategy in response to this merger and we will aggressively defend flight attendants' rights, as well as our contract. Our contract remains in full force and effect and we expect management to live up to the letter of that agreement.
AFA-CWA also expects that past attacks against our profession, such as international outsourcing, will not resurface under this proposed merger. 

"If this merger is going to be successful, Delta management needs to put aside its history of anti-union tactics and concentrate on working with the flight attendants to address our issues. Mergers are very difficult in the best of circumstances, often alienating front line workers who are the face of the airline. Delta management needs to remain neutral in the Delta flight attendant's representation election, and let the flight attendants decide their own futures.

"If the Delta flight attendants vote to join AFA-CWA before the merger, our union will represent the combined flight attendant workforce. If the Delta flight attendants remain non-union at the time of the merger, then there will be a representation election for the combined workforce with AFA-CWA on the ballot. We will win that election, retain our bargaining rights and negotiate a new contract together.

"Northwest flight attendants have voiced their concerns regarding a merger to management and we stick by our vow to protect our members. Any transaction that fails to address our basic issues will be met with strong resistance."

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.  More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, 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.afanet.org.

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