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US unions commit to defend aviation workers’ rights in the face of airlines merger
24 April 2008
US civil aviations union have outlined their commitment to defend the rights of aviation workers following an official announcement last week that two major US airlines – Northwest and Delta – plan to merge.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), which represents crew at Northwest Airlines, has, along the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), been seeking to organise workers at Delta Air Lines. Currently only pilots are the only large unionised group at Delta. The airlines announced plans to merge on 14 April.
Northwest Airlines AFA Master Executive Council President Kevin Griffin said: “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.
“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.”
IAM General Vice President Robert Roach Jr said: “The Machinists Union’s Merger Committee has examined the Northwest-Delta merger proposal, and we firmly believe that this merger is not in the best interest of passengers, employees and the communities these airlines currently serve.”
"We will do everything legally possible to oppose any merger that threatens our members jobs, labour contracts, pensions, seniority and their right to union representation".
Last year trade unionists representing workers employed by Skyteam alliance airlines, of which Delta is one, took part in a rally in Atlanta, US, in support of the organising campaigns of AFA-CWA and IAMAW at the airline. Solidarity messages have since been received from Skyteam alliance unions in Czech Replublic, France, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands and Russia.
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