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Delta Air Lines urged to stop union busting campaign by US Congress


146 members of the US Congress have written to the CEO of Delta Air Lines urging them to stop union busting activities and commit to negotiating in good faith if their employees choose to form a union. 

Delta employees announced a coordinated campaign to organise in November 2022 amongst flight attendants, fleet service workers, and technicians, supported by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). 

But Delta’s history of union busting tactics which have included threatening employees with termination of their benefits, distributing anti-union literature, and hosting an anti-union website have all contributed to the delay in unionisation of their employees.  

Congress said a neutrality agreement is the bare minimum standard that Delta should meet in respecting workers’ rights and to comply with the Railway Labor Act’s directive to not “interfere… influence or coerce” its employees in their choice of representative. The letter also elicits the legal right of all workers to a free and fair choice to join a union.

Delta Air Lines remains the only US-based mainline carrier where a union does not represent flight attendants, fleet service, and mechanics. 

IAM International President Brian Bryant said: “A neutrality agreement would simply free Delta workers from intimidation and allow them a pathway to join a union and collectively bargain if they wish. It would ensure that employees decide to unionise without undue pressure or interference from Delta management.” 

Sara Nelson, International President of AFA-CWA said: “Delta Air Lines has for decades spoken for flight attendants and other workers – telling the world it’s great to work at Delta while actively spending millions to deny workers the free right to join a union. Now lawmakers are putting them on notice - no more breaking the law. Respect workers’ rights!” 

General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Stephen Cotton said: “This is long overdue – transport workers the world over deserve the right to unionise in order to ensure their safety, protect terms and conditions and negotiate on their pay. It is absurd that in 'the land of the free' these workers are threatened and intimidated for wanting to invoke such a basic right.” 

The Letter follows a recent Congressional Labor Caucas roundtable where elected officials and congressional staff gathered to learn about organising challenges and opportunities from unions. 

The next ITF Civil Aviation Section Committee will be launching a global solidarity campaign by aviation unions around the globe to support Delta workers' organising campaigns union. 

Read the full letter from Congress here.