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Northwest And Delta Flight Attendants Launch Plans For Union Election

Date: June 2, 2008

Washington, DC - Northwest Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), met with colleagues from Delta Air Lines last week in Washington, DC, for the first of many strategy sessions, planning for the union representation election that will be triggered if the merger between the two carriers is finalized.

"Northwest flight attendants have spent months since the merger was announced outlining conditions and strategies necessary for a successful merger of our flight attendant groups," said Kevin Griffin, Northwest Master Executive Council President. "By working with our flying partners at Delta, we are building a foundation for a strong union for flight attendants at the merged airline. Delta executives fought the Delta flight attendants' attempt to organize, and they will now try to eliminate the unions that already provide protections for their members at Northwest. We will stand together to ensure that our contract and collective bargaining rights are protected."

On May 28, flight attendants at Delta narrowly missed the chance to become members of AFA-CWA when the National Mediation Board (NMB) was unable to certify a representation election due to voter participation falling short of the required majority of the workforce. Under current NMB rules, when one non-union work group merges with a union group, a union election is automatically called if 35 percent of the combined workforce has union representation or signs a union card.

"Delta flight attendants are more determined than ever to gain a voice in our future and are looking forward to working side-by-side with our Northwest colleagues to join AFA-CWA," said Mara Levene, Delta flight attendant and AFA-CWA activist. "Working together we will be able to have a voice in our future, and that will benefit all flight attendants at the merged airline. We are better together."

The merger continues to moves forward toward regulatory approval. When combined, the 7,500 flight attendants at Northwest and the over 13,000 at Delta will be the largest flight attendant workforce in the country. An AFA-CWA victory in the upcoming election would secure the bargaining rights for the combined group, and trigger negotiations for a single contract.

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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