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Management Untruths

Management Untruth #1

If you go for a union you could lose your flight benefits and your profit sharing!

Delta pilots are 100% union and get flight benefits and profit sharing, as do Delta union workers in Canada. And imagine Delta trying to hire with no flight benefits? In fact, right now they are offering large bonuses to new hires in many locations because they can’t hire enough people.

Management Untruth #2   

Be careful! If you vote a union in, you could lose what you have now in terms of pay and benefits. Don’t risk it! Don’t Sign It!

Workers at Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian, Southwest, and United have all recently negotiated, voted on and signed new contracts. They have all made substantial wage and benefit gains. In fact, workers at United have the best wages and benefits in the airline industry. Finally, we ramp, cargo and tower workers have final say on our contract when we vote to accept or reject. Why would we vote for anything that didn’t give us substantial gains and make us industry leaders?

Management Untruth #3   

The union is a bunch of outsiders, an outside third party. They just want your dues money.

This union campaign is being run by Delta workers from stations across the country, large and small. We are the ones who put out this newsletter, who decide what happens. When we win a union, it will be all of US who decide what we negotiate with the company for. It will be us and our coworkers who become union stewards, shop committee chairs and negotiators. We run the union. 

Did You Know?

Delta Air Lines, in addition to signing Tom Brady to a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract, has just invested $500 million in the failing private jet company, Wheels Up. It’s time for us to have a union so we can make sure Delta invests in us.


Some Delta workers have raised questions around what would happen with their seniority if we had a union. In other words, would we continue to be able to have the same seniority and pay if we move upstairs? The short answer is yes. Why fix it, if it isn’t broken? The longer answer is that one of the great benefits of having a union is that we, the members, are the deciders, not the company. We would vote on a contract that would include, in writing and guaranteed, things like how we use our seniority, work rules, pay, and benefits, etc. The members would have the final say.

Ramp Workers at Southwest Reject Tentative Agreement

After a thorough debate and discussion ramp agents (represented by the Transport Workers Union) at Southwest have rejected a union contract (63% to 37%) that would have given them the highest wages in the industry, with top of scale workers set to make $36.72 per hour. The contract also gave improvements in retirement medical coverage, increasing the company’s 401(k) match and additional holidays at premium pay rates. Because they have a union, workers were able to say no and tell their negotiators to go back for more. 

What Is A Pension?

We’ve gotten a bunch of questions lately about exactly what a pension is. At United Airlines here’s how it works: The company puts in $2.05 per hour into the IAM pension fund for every worker, every day they work. Over time, as you can imagine, that grows into a considerable sum. 

When the worker reaches 65 years of age, normal retirement age, they are eligible to start receiving monthly payments. If a worker had been a participant in the Plan for 20 years, then at age 65, they would receive $1,747 every month until they passed away. If the hourly contribution goes up, so does the pension benefit. This gives workers enormous security in retirement because, unlike a 401(k), the money never runs out. Workers at United also receive up to a 3% match on their 401k. The combination of an IAM pension, 401(k) and Social Security provides a strong retirement base.

How Does A Bid Work At A Union Airline?

It’s no secret that the winter bid in a lot of locations caused great frustration. So, how could a union deliver a better result? With a union, when the company comes forward with a proposed bid, they are required to meet with worker representatives who are elected by their coworkers to discuss the bid. Typically, the union reps make a number of suggestions. The company then makes adjustments and resubmits the bid.

At some point, there may be a real disagreement over the bid. The union would then begin turning up pressure on the company by organizing workers to tell management what the problems with the bid are and how they need to be corrected. With increasing pressure from the union reps and workers, the company will almost always be forced to agree to back off from the most objectionable parts of the bid.

In addition, the percentage of full time and part time lines is defined, then guaranteed in writing by the union contract. Parameters for start times are also determined by the union contract. This gives workers a higher degree of control over the process of drawing up a bid.

All across the country, Delta has made extreme changes to our work bids without taking into consideration the effect it will have on employees’ lives outside of work. We believe a bid designed with teamwork and mutual respect is a better way forward. A bid constructed to equally benefit both workers and the company is absolutely possible and we look forward to making it a reality by gaining a seat at the table. 

Arbitrary Discipline: A True Story

So I want to put this out there for anyone who is on the fence about if we should have union representation. In July I was “caught” without a bumpcap by a safety team member. While working an “on the ground” gate change, I grabbed the wrong hat as I ran outside to park the “on the ground” gate change. My OSM advised me to fill an ASAP report to “cover” my mishap. 

Fast forward about a month, I received an email telling me that my ASAP has been denied. I then was told I would be put on a year and a half level for not wearing a bumpcap…if I would have had union representation this whole incident would have been taken care of with a much better outcome for both me and the company. If you’re on the fence, this hopefully is an eye opener to let anyone know that we need a voice in the game, and not just Delta telling us how things will go at their discretion.

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