Congress Urges Delta Air Lines to Stop Union Busting Campaign

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2024 – 146 members of Congress signed a letter confronting Delta Air Lines over its anti-union practices. They strongly urged the airline to adopt a neutrality agreement to ensure a fair and unbiased union organizing campaign. 

This letter comes after the Congressional Labor Caucus recently heard from Delta workers during the IAM’s visit to Capitol Hill

Delta Air Lines is the only U.S.-based mainline carrier where a union does not represent flight attendants, fleet service, and mechanics – only 20 percent of Delta workers are unionized. Unionized Delta pilots recently endorsed the joint IAM, AFA-CWA and Teamsters campaign to organize Delta workers. 

Delta Air Lines management has threatened employees with termination for union activities. It hosts an anti-union website and distributes literature threatening workers seeking to organize. Delta also spent approximately $38 million to oppose a flight attendant union campaign in 2010. Its anti-union activities have caused brand damage, including broad media coverage of a 2019 anti-union flier that told employees to spend money on video games instead of union dues.

“A neutrality agreement would simply free Delta workers from intimidation and allow them a pathway to join a union and collectively bargain if they wish,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “It would ensure that employees decide to unionize without undue pressure or interference from Delta management.”

Since November 2022, Delta employees, including flight attendants, fleet service workers, and technicians, have been actively working to form a union. The company’s resistance to unionization efforts has sparked concerns about workers’ rights and fair labor practices.

A neutrality agreement would require Delta to refrain from engaging in any activities that could influence the outcome of unionization efforts. By committing to neutrality, Delta would demonstrate a commitment to respecting the voices and rights of its employees. Neutrality agreements are a common practice in industries where unionization efforts are underway. 

“A neutrality agreement consists of an employer agreeing not to engage in pre-election activities that influence workers’ freedom to form a union,” reads the letter from members of Congress. “Your commitment to neutrality would ensure that management does not pressure workers into voting against unionization or delaying the election process. We believe a neutrality agreement is the bare minimum standard that Delta should meet in respecting workers’ rights and comply with the Railway Labor Act’s directive to not “interfere… influence or coerce” its employees in their choice of representative.” 

“The IAM applauds members of Congress for taking a stand against anti-union tactics and for providing support in amplifying the voices of workers in Delta Air Lines,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “We are asking other elected officials to add their voice to the call for justice and join the movement demanding Delta Air Lines respect the rights of its employees.” 

Congress’s call for Delta to embrace neutrality is critical in this stage of the organizing campaign. As the debate over workers’ rights and fair labor practices continues across the country, Delta Air Lines has the opportunity to allow its workforce the freedom to organize.

Read the complete letter.

The letter was signed by 146 bipartisan Members of Congress, including: Reps. Alma Adams, Colin Allred, Gabe Amo, Nanette Barragán Joyce Beatty, Donald Beyer, Jamaal Bowman, Brendan Boyle, Shontel Brown, Nikki Budzinski, Cori Bush, Tony Cárdenas, André Carson, Troy Carter, Greg Casar, Sean Casten, Joaquin Castro, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Judy Chu, Yvette Clarke, Emanuel Cleaver, Steve Cohen, Gerald Connolly, J. Correa, Joe Courtney, Jason Crow, Danny Davis, Donald Davis, Rosa DeLauro, Suzan DelBene, Christopher Deluzio, Mark DeSaulnier, Debbie Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Anna Eshoo, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Brian Fitzpatrick, Bill Foster, Valerie Foushee, Maxwell Frost, John Garamendi, Jesús Garcia, Robert Garcia, Sylvia Garcia, Daniel Goldman, Jimmy Gomez, Josh Gottheimer, Al Green, Raúl Grijalva, Jim Himes, Steven Horsford, Val Hoyle, Jared Huffman, Glenn Ivey, Jonathan Jackson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Sara Jacobs, Pramila Jayapal, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Marcy Kaptur, William Keating, Robin Kelly, Ro Khanna, Daniel Kildee, Derek Kilmer, Andy Kim, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ann Kuster, Greg Landsman, John Larson, Barbara Lee, Summer Lee, Ted Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Stephen Lynch, Seth Magaziner, Jennifer McClellan, Gwen Moore, Jared Moskowitz, Seth Moulton, Betty McCollum, Morgan McGarvey, James McGovern, Robert Menendez, Kweisi Mfume, Frank Mrvan, Kevin Mullin, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Napolitano, Joe Neguse, Wiley Nickel, Donald Norcross, Eleanor Norton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Frank Pallone, Chris Pappas Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne, Scott Peters, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Delia Ramirez, Jamie Raskin, Deborah Ross, Dutch Ruppersberger, Patrick Ryan, Andrea Salinas, Linda Sánchez, John Sarbanes, Mary Scanlon, Janice Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Bradley Schneider, Brad, Sherman, Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, Adam Smith, Eric Sorensen, Darren Soto, Abigail Spanberger, Melanie Stansbury, Haley Stevens, Marilyn Strickland, Eric Swalwell, Emilia Sykes, Mark Takano, Shri Thanedar, Bennie Thompson, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Jill Tokuda, Ritchie Torres, Norma Torres, David Trone, Lauren Underwood, Nydia Velázquez, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jennifer Wexton, Susan Wild, and Frederica Wilson. 

The Congressional Labor Caucus is composed of more than 100 Members of Congress working to protect and advance workers’ rights.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries. | @MachinistsUnion

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