Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop Urges Delta Air Lines to Remain Neutral in Union Organizing Campaign

ATLANTA, Feb. 20, 2024 – U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) wrote a letter to Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian calling on Delta Air Lines to uphold its reputation for excellence and fairness by respecting the rights of its employees to decide on unionization without interference.

Upwards of 55,000 Delta employees are currently engaged in a campaign to join unions. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is currently organizing Delta ramp, cargo, and tower workers. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) is signing up flight attendants, and the Teamsters are supporting technicians and related crafts.

“My office has heard from different unions about their organizing efforts, and I strongly agree that Delta’s workers have a right to make a decision on unionization without fear of retaliation or intimidation,” wrote Rep. Bishop. “Ialso urge Delta to continue to adhere to the organization process outlined in the Railway Labor Act and to take any allegations of interference seriously.” 

In the letter, Bishop also expressed support for the ongoing efforts of Delta employees to organize and urged Delta Air Lines to maintain their well-deserved status by respecting its employees’ decision whether or not to organize. 

This latest letter comes after five more Republican members of Congress penned a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian. The Congressional Labor Caucus letter garnered 146 members of Congress to sign on, including Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.).

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 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 workers are being subjected to an immense amount of pressure, simply by exercising their federal right to join a union,”  “It’s time to put an end to the intimidation and give Delta workers the voice on the job that they deserve.”

“We applaud Rep. Bishop’s courage for taking a stand to level the playing field for Delta workers,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “He has a long history of fighting for workers throughout Georgia. His support reinforces the importance of fairness and respect in this organizing campaign.” 

Read the complete letter here

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.

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