Delta Global Services (DGS) Flight Benefits Necessary to Retain Quality Workforce
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Dear Mr. Bastian and Mr. Argenbright,
Before sharing with you the purpose of this letter, I’d first like to introduce myself. My name is Mather and at my station, I’m the face of Delta. I check passengers in at the ticket counter, change their seat assignment at the gate, print release paperwork for the pilots, clear HVC customers into their upgraded seats, thank passengers for choosing Delta as they de-plane, welcome passengers as they scan their boarding passes and ensure that my planes are out on time. I even have the messy job of pulling the trash from the aircraft resulting from in-flight services and hustle to bring new bags of ice to the plane, when needed. Though I’m the face of Delta to the customer, in actuality, I’m employed by Delta Global Services. I’m proud to be part of the Delta family and give my all every day.
With this pride that I have, I feel a responsibility to bring to your attention an issue that will undermine the success of our operations in the not-too-distant future. Like many of my counterparts, when I interviewed for my position, it was apparent that at $9.50 per hour, this job isn’t a living-wage job. As was the case with a large percentage of us, the draw of the position is the opportunity for travel. And I am so thankful for that opportunity when the stars align.
With the recent news of the merger between DGS and Argenbright, the opportunity for travel -the very reason many of us are employed with DGS and work at a sub-market wage— will become even more difficult beginning January 1, 2022, when our standby priority drops even further from SC3 to S4. In addition to this lower priority, we will also begin paying the not-insignificant yield fare amount for the flights. Flying at an S4 priority, along with paying the yield fare, renders this benefit unusable for many DGS employees. Additionally, the merger makes using flight benefits further challenging, by no longer allowing DGS employees to use ZED, which was the ‘ace up the sleeve’ if we were unable to fly standby on Delta.
Our skilled and committed workforce is what has grown DGS into the valuable asset that it is today. But with the announcement of the change in benefits looming, there is a considerable amount of talk by current employees, across the system, about leaving DGS in the next three years. If you speak with station managers today about the difficulty in staffing our stations with current pay and benefits, I think you would find that the task is challenging. Remove the benefit for which many of us work, and that creates a troubling situation for both the bottom line of the company and safety of passengers.
For the benefit of the Delta brand and the success of Argenbright, I would like to encourage the review of the standby prioritization both for these next three years… and beyond. It is my sincere wish that both Delta and Argenbright succeed. To do that, we need a workforce that knows they are valued. Flight benefits is the currency that speaks volumes to the majority of DGS employees. Without a change to flight benefits, I fear that turbulent skies are ahead for Delta, Argenbright and DGS.
Please visit http://tiny.cc/dgsargenbright to see the names of those who have also signed this letter (currently 1200 and growing). Additionally, you can read the heartfelt stories of those who have commented, to better understand what drives DGS employees to deliver outstanding service to Delta passengers.
I welcome the opportunity to communicate with you about this issue and would be willing to serve on a panel to look into the topic further. On behalf of the 19,000 DGS employees, I thank you for giving this issue your consideration.
N. Mather Zickler, ACS at ATW
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