Delta Flight Attendants Prepare For Historic Union Vote
April 18, 2008
NMB Changes Voting Schedule -Flight Attendants Looking Forward to Quicker Union Representation
Washington, DC - With less than one week before the polls open, Delta Air Lines flight attendants are putting the finishing touches on their grass roots campaign to become members of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). The vote, only the second in Delta flight attendant history, comes just days after Delta Air Lines management formally announced its intention to merge with Northwest Airlines.
"A lot of things will change as a result of the merger, so we need a voice," said Toni Weinfurtner, Delta flight attendant and AFA-CWA activist. "More so than at any other time, we need to be able to negotiate for our own future and to have a say in how the merger, potential outsourcing or any layoffs might affect us. "We will soon have that voice when we join the tens of thousands of our fellow flight attendants across the country at the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA."
Earlier this month, the federal agency that supervises airline labor relations, the National Mediation Board (NMB), informed AFA-CWA that they were adjusting the voting schedule and concluding the election on May 28, six days earlier than previously announced. The NMB refused to provide a rationale for the schedule change. The earlier conclusion of the election brings Delta flight attendants one week closer to joining their colleagues at Northwest in AFA-CWA, where they can begin building a new airline that will include the best from both worlds for the flight attendants.
"The timing of this election is very advantageous for Delta flight attendants," said AFA-CWA International President Patricia Friend. "Now more than ever, Delta flight attendants need a strong voice in order to best defend their profession against the uncertainty that this merger may bring. Delta flight attendants will have the legal right to negotiate their pay and work rules as part of creating the world's largest airline."
The polls will open at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23 and will close at 2:00 p.m EDT on Wednesday, May 28, when the vote count is scheduled to begin. The NMB is conducting the secret-vote election electronically via the Internet and through a phone-activated system. With roughly 13,000 Delta flight attendants eligible to vote this will be one of the largest union elections in the U.S. this year.
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.