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The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced that it will support, assist and help coordinate Delta workers’ demands for a safer workplace. Among the many safety issues at Delta Air Lines, the forced use of flimsy, heat-trapping “bump caps” is front and center.

It has been documented by Delta workers themselves that the plastic bump caps trap heat in the head area up to 30 degrees hotter than outside temperatures. Heat related deaths and illnesses are on the rise during record breaking temperatures this summer, and workers have reported many symptoms of heat related illnesses. Delta management, however, has refused to listen to those actually working in these conditions and has dug in and refused to listen to Delta workers’ concerns about the use of the bump caps.

“It’s mind boggling that Delta management officials refuse to listen to Delta workers’ concerns with these bump caps as they sit in their air-conditioned offices,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “For a management team who constantly touts the benefits of a ‘direct relationship,’ their downright refusal to find a solution to this dangerous situation is unconscionable. This is a perfect example of what happens when workers do not have access to a legally binding grievance procedure, or union safety committees. Management just does whatever it wants and workers’ voices and opinions are dismissed. Change is needed at Delta Air Lines and change is coming.”

The Machinists Union recommends that Delta ramp workers either file a complaint online with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at this link or call OSHA at 800-321-6742. Please note that if you do not want your name to be revealed to Delta management, you can file your complaint anonymously. You are protected under federal whistleblower laws from being retaliated against in case you do decide to reveal your name.

Please note that filing OSHA complaints need not stop with the bump cap issue. You can file an OSHA complaint if you think your workplace is unsafe. If the facilities, ground equipment or work processes are unsafe, you can file a complaint. Please watch the OSHA videos on the same webpage that you can file an online complaint. If you have any questions, or need assistance, please contact the IAM at

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