IAM Union Applauds U.S. Senators for Telling Delta Air Lines to Remain Neutral in Union Organizing Campaigns

The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), North America’s largest air transport labor union, is applauding a group of 25 U.S. Senators, led by Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), for telling Delta Air Lines to remain neutral in union organizing campaigns for approximately 55,000 workers at the carrier.

The 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.

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.

“All workers should have a free and fair choice to join a union, as is required by law,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “We strongly urge you to adopt a neutrality agreement with regards to any efforts by your employees to unionize and to commit to negotiating in good faith if you employees do choose to form a union.”

The U.S. Senate support follows a bipartisan group of more than 150 members of the U.S. House, led by the House Labor Caucus, who called on Delta to remain neutral toward unions.

“The IAM is eternally grateful to Sen. Butler and every U.S. Senator who are championing the rights of Delta Air Lines workers,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “Delta workers are being subject to an extremely hostile work environment as they exercise their right to form and join a union. It’s past time for Ed Bastian and Delta leadership to do the right thing and allow their workers to make their own decision on unionization free from harassment and intimidation.”

Unionized Delta pilots recently endorsed the joint IAM, AFA-CWA, and Teamsters campaign to organize Delta workers.

“Delta is receiving a message loud and clear from the U.S. Senate and beyond – ‘cut out the scorched-Earth anti-union campaign now,’” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “The IAM, our labor coalition and Delta workers will continue to demand that Delta respects its own workforce by allowing them to make their own decision about joining a union.”

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% of Delta workers are unionized.

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