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Democracy Wins: Delta Flight Attendants to Vote in First Truly Democratic Election

Date: July 2, 2010

AFA-CWA Files for First Flight Attendant Election under Democratic Voting Procedures

Washington, DC - The July 4th holiday has special meaning for Delta flight attendants, who moved closer to a vote for representation under new, more democratic rules today with a filing by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) with the National Mediation Board (NMB). AFA-CWA asked the NMB to declare that the Delta/Northwest merger has created a single transportation system, triggering a representation election. Northwest Airlines flight attendants are currently represented by AFA-CWA, while Delta flight attendants are not represented.

A U.S. District Court on June 25 rejected challenges to the new rules by the Airline Transport Association and Delta Air Lines, the only major airline carrier to join the lawsuit. Delta executives have stated that they are ready to move forward with union elections and AFA-CWA urged them to live up to their word. Under the new rules, the majority of voters will decide the representation issue instead of having "no" votes assigned to people who do not vote.

"Democracy has prevailed," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "For the first time, flight attendants will truly have their voices heard and their votes counted. For far too long, union elections in our industry have been overshadowed by management interference and voter suppression. Those days are over and we enter a new era. >From this point on, union elections will be held to the same ideals and principles that our country was founded upon."

Once the NMB declares that the merged airlines are operating as a single carrier, which is already the case for Delta's pilots, an election date will be set to determine if AFA-CWA will be the flight attendants' exclusive bargaining agent. With nearly 21,000 flight attendants, the election will be among the largest ever conducted by the NMB, the federal agency charged with overseeing union elections and the collective bargaining process in the airline industry.

"Delta and Northwest flight attendants have waited a long time for this day and are eager to move forward in creating a world-class contract at the world's largest carrier," added Friend.

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 50,000 flight attendants at 22 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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