From Atlanta to Detroit and from Memphis to Minneapolis, IAM members are on the road and on the phones speaking with employees at Delta Air Lines who are voting in historic elections that can give them a much-needed voice in the direction of their newly merged airline.
“Some of the most enthusiastic responses we received were from family members,” said James Carlson, a United Airlines employee from New York’s Local 1322 who visited with dozens of workers and their spouses in the New York area. “They know what can happen in the wake of a merger, and they don’t want their family’s financial future sacrificed to prove the merger was a good idea.”
Fleet Service employees can cast a ballot throughout the 36-day voting period that began on October 14 and concludes at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2010. Results will be announced by the NMB shortly after the voting concludes on November 18. The Stores election began on October 25 and runs until November 22. Passenger Service employees will be voting from November 2 to December 7, 2010.
“We’ve been answering questions from Delta employees and their families who aren’t familiar with how union representation works,” said Zenecia Wells, a Lockheed Martin employee and member of Local Lodge 709 in Marietta, GA who met with eligible voters in the Atlanta area. “Some want to know about union dues and are surprised to learn that no dues are collected until members have voted to accept a contract. Others want to know how a contract can protect jobs from being outsourced.”
Before the merger, Delta and Northwest entered bankruptcy on the same day in September 2005. While thousands of jobs at Delta were eliminated, the IAM contract at Northwest guaranteed jobs at 40 stations and was the difference between economic life or death for employees at those locations.
“The IAM contract at Northwest provided members there with protection even as the carrier was going through bankruptcy,” said Transportation GVP Robert Roach, Jr. “While the merger between Delta and Northwest is now complete, the industry is still in a state of chaos, and employees at every carrier need all the protection they can get.”