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Open Letter To Delta Air Lines Human Relations Vice President

Our union committees from across the system have sent a letter to Delta Air Lines Human Resources Vice President Joanne Smith asking her for four simple things:

  1. Respect our federally guaranteed right to organize for a union without interference. Respect the law, respect us.
  2. Allow IAM union representatives on the floor to freely share information and answer questions regarding the union.
  3. Allow workers to share union literature and have discussions about the union in non-work areas during non-work times free from harassment and intimidation.
  4. Respect your own values as laid out in the Rules of The Road.

We will report to you here on Blue Notes what response, or lack of response, we get from Vice President Smith.
View Letter. 


United HellCare

Our insurance as Delta workers is administered by United Healthcare, and a video jogged a memory of an experience I had a while back.

Maybe six months back or so, I woke up to a small bump on my side. I thought nothing of it. I probably got bit by a spider while I was sleeping. It was the kind of non-issue we are all accustomed to ignoring.

Over the next few days the bump got bigger, and a huge red rash developed all around it. By the third or fourth day it hurt–bad. It had clearly gotten infected. I couldn’t lay on that side. I was in so much pain I was sick. Crazy that a little spider bite was causing me this much grief.

I avoid going to the doctor, mostly because of the cost. I’m going to pay for it in the long term, I’m sure, but the simple truth is I can’t afford the bills. This time, though, it was unavoidable. I looked up what urgent care centers near me are covered. There literally wasn’t a single one.

“This must be an error,” I thought. I live in a major city, the largest in my state. I called, and got the same result. The phone operator tried to refer me to a pediatric clinic, and then to a series of no-name clinics that Google tells me have been closed since before Covid. She then told me the ER was an option. No thanks, you’re not sticking me with that bill.

I ended up just going to an urgent care and planned for the fight with UHC. The result was a 10 minute meeting, a prescription, and a huge bill.

We work too hard for too many hours to receive health insurance that we can’t even use. If we unionized, our medical plan would be subject to a collective bargaining agreement and we could fight for something much better.


Ed Bastian

$12,360,000 per year
$1,030,000 per month
$237,692 per month
$47,538 per day
$99 per minute

Ed makes more in a day than a 5 year employee makes in a year.


Delta Loves Us in Ways We Don’t Even Know

Does Delta only care for our pilots monetarily? I mean, pilots walk under wings, they stick their head in engines and around the nose gear every single flight. All of this is done without a mandatory bump cap policy forcing them to protect themselves. Maybe unlike our pilots, Delta loves us in a way money cannot express. 


Secure Retirement?

At what age will we die? It may sound like a morbid thought, however it’s something we need to consider seeing that Delta only offers a 401(k) for retirement. The life expectancy for a male is 73 and the life expectancy for a female is 79. Should we just plan on living until 73 and 79? If so, we would divide our 401(k) by the number of retirement years and this is the amount of money we could allow ourselves to spend until we die at 73 and 79.

But what happens if we screw up and live past life expectancy? Our money will be gone, yet the monthly expenses continue which presents us with a huge problem. We could each just plan on living to 100, however this would severely reduce the amount of money we could allow ourselves each month in retirement.

Now imagine going into retirement similar to our unionized counterparts with a tripod of retirement income – 401(k), savings, and a monthly pension. Receiving a monthly pension payout relieves the concern of living too long. Our unionized counterparts will retire with the dignity and security of receiving a monthly pension paid out until the day they die whether it’s 73 or 100 years old!


Report from the Field

Hey, I was 50/50 on this union thing at first. But hearing something from one of my OSMs really hurt me to my core. It made me feel undervalued and quite frankly made me feel like – yeah, you’ve been outside for six to seven hours. I understand you want to put something in your stomach, but instead I was told it was my choice to come in early. And you get your lunch when RTSM says I do. I was on the fence, but with the past heat wave and how we’ve been treated lately, I wanna sign a card. 


House Calls in ATL

Starting on Sept. 7 and ending on Sept. 10, pro-union Delta workers and IAM members will be visiting the homes of Delta workers who have signed union cards in the past, but whose cards are now expired. Before we visit, we will be texting you to let you know we are coming and give you a chance to opt out. We would prefer to have open discussions at work without company interference, but Delta has chosen to make that as difficult as possible through a variety of anti-union activities. 

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