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Delta Flight Attendants Union Vote Underway

Date: April 24, 2008

Washington, DC - Delta Air Lines flight attendants began voting yesterday to join the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). Polls for the historic representation election opened April 23 at 12:01 a.m. EDT as the National Mediation Board (NMB) sent instructions to the over 13,500 Delta flight attendants. The voting will conclude at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 28 with the results to follow.

"This is a special day for the thousands of Delta flight attendants who have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months in order to have the opportunity to take part in this historic process and gain a voice in their future," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "While the Delta and Northwest merger has dominated news lately, it is easy to overlook one very important fact regarding this campaign: that this has been one of the largest grassroots' campaigns in union history. What started as a small group of Delta flight attendants now includes more than 1,200 AFA-CWA activists. Each day we hear from more and more Delta flight attendants who are excited and eager to take control of their careers and have a say in the decisions that affect their lives."

The NMB began sending instructions to Delta flight attendants yesterday on how to participate in this secret-vote election. Once the flight attendants receive their instructions, they may begin voting electronically via the Internet or through a phone-activated system through 2:00 p.m. on May 28.

"We are excited to negotiate binding language on job security and seniority protections, and secure for ourselves a professional voice for the long term," said Mark Stell, a Delta flight attendant and AFA-CWA activist. "We have worked hard, sacrificed a lot, and deserve the right and respect to have a say in our future."

Delta flight attendants take to the polls the day after 26 U.S. Senators submitted a letter to Delta Air Lines executives urging them to "demonstrate a genuine commitment to cooperative labor relations" and to remain neutral in this election. Delta management, meanwhile, continues to ramp up their voter suppression efforts to persuade flight attendants, through intimidation and harassment, to forfeit their right to participate in the process. In order for AFA-CWA to be certified as the collective bargaining representative, a majority of the entire flight attendant workforce must participate in the election. Anything less than a majority turnout will void the election, even if the union gets a clear majority of the votes cast.

Earlier this month, the 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.

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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