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A View From the Top

c07f72c0-edcc-4fe9-9240-0a5091b0d335I was privileged to be a 2010 Chairman's Club honoree. What an experience! It's especially special because it is peer-driven recognition. I have also been in the top 1% of our work group, earning the "Customer Commendation Champion Award" for the last six years. This isn’t gloating — I want you to know I take my job seriously and I am proud to wear the Delta wings!

I truly love our profession and what it has afforded me: personal travel, awesome worldwide layovers, decent savings and significant time off to explore other pursuits.

But our special lifestyle has deteriorated because we are working more than ever. Our earnings have suffered from work rule erosion, loss of pay overrides, and soaring health insurance costs in both premiums and out-of-pocket totals, causing us to fly more hours just to make ends meet.

Our work environment has also changed: less staffing, more seats, small, inefficient galleys and new, heavy overhead bins requiring us to lift the combined weight of every piece of luggage on every flight! As a result, we experience more injuries and debilitating physical issues over time.

Workplace changes like these are one-sided, devised and implemented by Delta’s senior leaders. The EIG is unable to persuade management to the contrary because it has no legal standing, no matter the impact on our health and well-being.

Our leaders are not responding to our requests for support, so it’s time we take control of our future. We can have better. We deserve better. ToddEichmann4That’s why I’m pro-Union, pro-Flight Attendant and fully support our drive for IAM!

I am also proudly pro-Delta! Our company is innovative and characteristically reliable, and it's our professionalism and customer service skills that are critical to running this GREAT airline and making it succeed. It’s time our part in the equation is appreciated.

We do reap some benefit from our company’s success via profit sharing and other small rewards programs. But, let's be honest, the profit sharing formula has been downgraded, we are awarded fewer SkyBucks and our work rules contain gray areas that can be interpreted in numerous confusing ways by scheduling and payroll.

There is too much operational disparity between us and our pilot colleagues. I'm not suggesting we be paid the same. That’s unrealistic. However, when we all report to work for our life on the road in that metal tube, there are commonalities we should share: duty rigs, sick time accrual, minimum duty credit, deadheading rules and more. As I see it, these areas should be identical. Why is there such disrespect for our time spent at work?

Our professionalism will not be truly recognized until we have a collective bargaining agreement and a voice at the table. Flight Attendants at Alaska and Southwest Airlines enjoy a wonderful contract through their respective Unions. Alaska employees have brought home the coveted J.D. Power award nine years in a row. Imagine what we could do if we had a contract and a Union protecting us! We will be unstoppable.

Our leaders have said over and over we have the BEST employees. Let's get the respect we deserve.

DO NOT DELAY...sign your IAM card today!

Todd Eichmann


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