The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers issued the following statement regarding the CWA-AFA’s announced organizing activities at Delta Air Lines:
The IAM is deeply concerned and disappointed by CWA-AFA’s announcement of intended organizing activities at Delta Air Lines before the AFL CIO has resolved the organizing dispute that has been pending for approximately two years. The IAM Delta campaign is strong and ongoing. As more information regarding this matter becomes available, the IAM will make such information available to all Delta Flight Attendants.
It’s Open Enrollment time, when major bank is spent on glossy flyers so we can pick from exactly ONE insurance administrator. Add up the annual premiums and deductibles, and each level of shiny metal amounts to the same thing: catastrophic coverage for healthy, wealthy people who need to stash money for tax purposes.
Works for unionized pilots who’ve reached pre-bankruptcy sick leave, compensation and defined benefit contribution rates, not so much for flight attendants and ramp workers.
In one breath, Delta HR blames the IRS for higher deductibles, and in the next, doesn’t give it credit for mandated preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), like free counseling on smoking, weight loss, depression, and alcohol abuse. Okaaay, thanks? But you had to, because, government.
We’re getting ripped off every year by a multi-BILLION dollar cash cow that continues to do the bare minimum in the health care department for non-union employees.
When a company is self-insured like Delta, it makes every decision about what gets covered and what doesn’t. UHC just has to send out the denial letters. A lot of them.
With over 80,000 employees during Delta’s wealthiest times, it is morally repugnant that individual costs are significantly higher than at United, American and Southwest. In fact, according to data in a recent Commonwealth Fund report, many non-contract Delta employees would be considered “underinsured,” meaning that their deductibles equaled 5% or more of income.
One of the REQUIRED negotiating points in a union contract is health insurance. Part of a union’s power is its ability to minimize out-of-pocket rates, while increasing coverage benefits and decreasing prescription costs.
IAM members enjoy myriad insurance administrator choices, benefit levels, sick leave, and OJI protections in their contracts, as well as union-run EAP plans that leave the company out of an employee’s personal challenges. Open enrollment shouldn’t make us sick. Forming a union with the IAM is the only way we can decide for ourselves what benefits we want and to guarantee them in a collective bargaining agreement!
It’s all good. It’s also temporary and expected during organizing drives.
In addition to constantly moving the 50% authorization card threshold by padding the seniority list, leadership gathers information at “listening” tours that they believe will stave off unionizing. EIG “suggestions” are then rolled out to somehow seem related, which by design cost a fraction of what any union-negotiated contract would.
Google “anti-union playbook” and you’re basically reading the history of Delta Air Lines—minus the Bellinis. Every trick in the book has been tried here.
Managers are only now delivering items their anti-union consultants have been holding close to the (toxic?) vest for several years. The nearer we get to a union election, the more these nuggets are doled out. Once we’re dissuaded from gaining control over our working life, every single item disappears, slowly but surely.
We’ll take these fleeting, transparent attempts to stop us from organizing all the way to the bargaining table, building a foundation worthy of our professionalism, expertise and bold hospitality. The more new flight attendants, the more power we all have to protect each other!
The greatest investment we can make in our careers is to begin negotiating groundbreaking work rules and lasting improvements in every future IAM contract. Accept management’s rewards for what they are, then get back to reality and carry IAM cards. It’s time to make real gains.
IAM International President Bob Martinez, Jr. and Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja recently sent a letter to United States Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao respectfully urging her to swiftly implement Sections 551 and 335 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.
Section 551 of the bill addresses the troubling rise in assaults directed at Customer Service Agents at our nations's airports, and Section 335 of the bill requires a 10-hour minimum rest period for Flight Attendants between 14-hour duty periods.
"Across the country, Customer Service Agents are being assaulted by angry passengers on a daily basis. No one should be physically or verbally assaulted just because they showed up to work and performed their job," said IP Martinez and GVP Pantoja. "Chronic fatigue among Flight Attendants is a serious issue in the commercial airline industry. Forcing Flight Attendants to work under these outdated rest rules is simply unacceptable. We respectfully ask the FAA to implement these rules without further delay."
While many were enjoying their hard-earned Labor Day holiday with their families, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and other labor leaders spent their Labor Day assisting IAM-Delta Activists at a card signing and hand-billing event at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The AFL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million union members nationwide, is a strong supporter of the IAM-Delta Flight Attendant and Ramp campaigns.