Letter To Delta Corporate Leaders
To my Delta Family,
I recently boarded a Delta flight out of Minneapolis for a quick few days away. As usual, I was looking forward to the journey ahead as Delta employees’ reliability produces the most comfortable flight experience for everyone on board.
My experience was amazing up until I settled into my seat, and that’s my reason for writing this letter today. Delta had prepared a 6 minute, 24 second video sponsored by themselves and Delta’s Resource Group (BRG), labeled “DELTA’s EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE.” It deserves conversation.
The video flooded me with emotional and mental anxiety. I felt sadness during and after the video. I even felt PTSD, which I will explain later in this letter. I was baffled by how Delta leadership presented themselves as being proud to support the civil rights movement, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his legacy. The video acknowledged the pain that Black and African Americans have endured, yet completely ignored ongoing issues happening right here in their backyard and systemwide at Delta Air Lines.
On the return flight, I had to make sure what I saw was accurate, Black and African American folks, my history blasted in front of my face. I scrolled through the movies so I could watch the video again to make sure what I had witnessed the first time was real, and it was. I felt like someone had stabbed me in my heart which was broken into a million pieces.
That same flame sparked inside my soul stemming primarily from noticing two things; Delta Air Lines did a Black Leadership Summit Event, and the second was Delta Air Lines showed up for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). These two events serve as public visuals for corporations to present, hoping to make Black and African American people, I feel, believe that you support us and our growth in this company.
I am writing this letter to you because this video is extremely personal to me. It was soul-crushing as my experience does not follow the words spoken to Delta passengers.
As an employee, I have been the target of Delta HR with accusations rooted in racism, retaliation, humiliation and discrimination against me, once again having to survive similar behaviors being raised in a white supremacy state, the “Old Mighty Mississippi Delta.”
So I come to you asking Delta to put meaning behind the words being portrayed to the flying public. On Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, I’m asking my Delta corporate family, starting with Ed Bastain, Peter Carter, Allison Ausband, Erik Snell, Dave Waston, and Joanne Smith to come and join hands with me and other union-supporting Delta Air Lines workers and some of our supporters, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), being one of them, in Memphis at the National Civil Rights Museum.
We will go back to the grounds on which Dr. King stood, fighting for the right to organize a union, the right to vote, and the right that Black and African Americans folk could one day feel freedom and justice in a world that didn’t see us an “EQUAL.”
Come join hands with your union supporting Delta Air Lines employees in Tennessee where Dr. King gave his life so that one day I could write a letter like this to white folks in America and Delta Air Lines. Come be present to help us honor Dr. King, with nothing left in me but hope. I hope to see you there.
Mandaline (Amanda) Goodman Berry
Based on data from the Economic Policy Institute, CEO pay averaged 344 times as much as the average American’s income in 2020. Ed Bastian is on the lower end of this disparity, at about 300 times the average Delta ramp and cargo agent’s wage. If we go back to 1965, the CEO average was only 21 times the average worker’s wage. In 1990, it was still only 60 times greater. Welcome to the new “Golden Era” for CEOs.
Family Leave With a Union And Without
At union carriers, management sometimes tries to mess with family leave for union employees. But there is a big difference compared to what happens at Delta. When an employee at IAM-represented United, for example, runs into denial of family leave for recurring migraines or problems related to diabetes, for example, the union reps are well versed in what is actually in the Family Medical Leave Act. They can file grievances on behalf of the employee. They also can contact the Department of Labor and help walk an employee through the process of making sure that Delta complies with the law. This can be a job saver when there are attendance issues that are actually related to health issues and covered by law. At Delta, you have no backing and no recourse to what the company says.
MSP Cargo Bid
Management was warned before the last bid that things would not run well with the job bid they put forward. The bid did not have people on the shifts where they were needed. As a consequence, MSP Cargo went from being No. 1 in the system to No. 7. Good work, Delta.
We have received word that OSHA is still investigating the safety impact of bump caps during the hot summer months, as well as numerous unsafe equipment and workplace complaints made by Delta workers. You can contact OSHA to file a complaint at osha.gov/wokers/file-complaint.
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