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Workers at US airline vote on union representation
1 October 2010
Workers at a major US airline have this week started voting in union representation elections.
The 20,000 crew of Delta Air Lines, which merged with Northwest airlines two years ago, began voting on 29 September on membership of the ITF-affiliated Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA). Voting will continue until 3 November. Meanwhile, on 22 September another US affiliate the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) filed election request cards with the NMB to support its application for a representation election for more than 700 stock and stores employees at the airline. The NMB will review the cards to determine if the union has the minimum show of interest of 35 per cent before scheduling an election.
The NMB is also reviewing cards the IAMAW submitted on 21 September to demonstrate support for a passenger service employee election. A vote for 14,000 fleet service employees has already been scheduled to run from 14 October – 18 November.
“Delta and Northwest flight attendants, who have worked so hard and waited so patiently, have seized the moment and for the first time in history, will participate in a union representation election governed by democratic voting rules,” said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA international president.
“The next few months will determine the career course of nearly 30,000 Delta employees,” said general vice president Robert Roach, Jr. “Stores, passenger service and fleet employees have an opportunity to show they want more than industry-average wages and benefits. Delta is an industry leader and the Machinists Union will help Delta workers negotiate the industry-leading contracts to match.”
In May, the agency dealing with industrial relations in the US’s airlines and railways, the National Mediation Board (NMB) authorised new voting procedures, whereby workers who vote in union elections decide the results; “no” votes will no longer be assigned to workers who do not participate in the election. The Delta cabin crew election is the first to take place under the new voting rules.
The ITF is encouraging affiliates to support both unions by sending messages to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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