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Why the EIG is Not a Substitute for Unionization

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While the IAM-Delta campaign recognizes the hard work and dedication of many of our Flight Attendant colleagues who are Employee Involvement Group (EIG) representatives, we believe it necessary to inform our co-workers regarding the vast differences between a Union and the EIG.

The Employee Involvement Group (EIG) is a company controlled process that is designed to manipulate Delta’s non-union workforce into the belief that we have the ability and power to influence the decisions that have a major impact on our future.

In practice, this process lacks all the power and security of a union contract. What’s offered under the EIG is in no way as valuable as what’s offered when a workgroup retains its federal right to negotiate ALL terms and conditions of employment and have them enforced and secured in a binding union contract.

Delta Flight Attendants have the right to form a union and work under a contract. With a contract we will decide via negotiations, guided by federal law, how to enhance our working conditions and secure terms and conditions that we must approve through a democratic vote. Without unionization, we are “at-will” employees playing Delta’s EIG game of "prioritizing" a few items, while Delta controls the entire process and unilaterally decides what can be discussed and what the final outcome is. The truth is, the EIG has no power.

With a union, we have the right to negotiate all of our terms of employment. Our wages, benefits and working conditions are what’s known as “mandatory subjects of bargaining” under the Railway Labor Act—the federal law that governs contract negotiations in the airline and railroad industries.

Unions and contracts are vital mechanisms of the equalization of power between companies and employees. Union contracts provide the stability of a strong middle class. As the percentage of people covered by union contracts has declined over the past forty or so years, so has the middle-class. This is not just a coincidence.

There is a reason that the right to form and belong to a union is protected under federal law. It’s because companies routinely do anything they can to influence and coerce their employees not to form a union. Why? If employees form a union, then they have rights. They have power and will gain a bigger share of the profits they create. Companies do not want to cede power or profits to employees. It's really that simple.

Sadly, the EIG process is used to manipulate us into believing we have power. Why do you think such a small percentage of Delta Flight Attendants take part in EIG surveys (less than one third of all Delta Flight Attendants participated in the most recent survey)? Understandably, the vast majority of Delta Flight Attendants realize it’s a fruitless exercise. Delta will do what Delta wants and there is nothing to prevent that.


So, sign your a-card today so WE can decide the matter of union representation without interference.

When we finally do win our representation election, we will then have the power and equality and the mature relationship with Delta that we truly deserve.

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