Delta Workers Ask NFL Legend, New Delta Air Lines Advisor Tom Brady to Recognize Right to Unionize

ATLANTA, Sept. 6, 2023  – Today, Delta Air Lines workers and their union allies called on retired NFL player Tom Brady to recognize the right of Delta Air Lines workers to form a union. Delta announced that Brady is becoming a long-term strategic adviser to the carrier.

“Tom Brady knows firsthand the power of unions to improve workers’ lives as a member of the NFL Players Association,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “We urge him to use his new influence with Delta Air Lines to respect the right and freedom of workers to choose whether or not to join a union. Delta Air Lines has been trying to silence the voices of its workers for far too long with their anti-union tactics. The workers at Delta want a union contract that will give them industry-leading wages and benefits, safety on the job, and a voice in the workplace. We urge him to stand in solidarity with Delta workers nationwide.” 

Late last year, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) announced a coordinated campaign to support the people of Delta Air Lines who are working to organize their unions. There are 45,000 Delta employees actively organizing to join unions. 

“As a Delta Air Lines Ramp Agent and on behalf of my coworkers, we are asking for Mr. Brady’s support in our fight to form a union,” said Flex McGhee, a Delta Air Lines Ramp Agent in Atlanta. “We are the essential workers who help make Delta Air Lines one of the most profitable companies in the world. We deserve a voice in our workplace. Mr. Brady has been successful on and off the field as a businessman and role model for many people. And as a union member, he should understand that you have to fight for respect and dignity on the job. That’s why we ask him to stand in solidarity with us and support our freedom to form a union at Delta Air Lines.”

Mechanics and related workers are organizing to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; ramp, cargo, and tower workers are seeking to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM); and Delta flight attendants are organizing for representation with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA).

Delta Air Lines has a long history of union-busting. In recent years, the company has spent millions of dollars on anti-union consultants and lawyers. The company has also fired and disciplined workers for union activities.

Delta Air Lines management has threatened employees with termination for union activities. It continues to host an anti-union website and distribute literature that threatens 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.

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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