Dear President Trumka,
Delta flight attendants have been trying to gain collective bargaining rights for nearly fifteen years. The Association of Flight Attendants – CWA has failed to garner the support of a majority of Delta flight attendants in three separate elections.
In November of 2010 the Delta flight attendants voted down AFA-CWA for a third time in a very close election. The issue here isn’t that a majority of Delta flight attendants don’t want union representation, they just don’t want anything to do with AFA-CWA. This is due to the massive anti-union campaigns Delta and Ford & Harrison have launched against AFA-CWA during that fifteen year span. Delta flight attendants simply view AFA-CWA in a very negative way and this is something that is not going to change.
The Railway Labor Act gives employees the right to organize and bargain collectively through a representative of their own choosing. This is exactly what we want, a choice.
Several months ago a group of Delta flight attendants launched the Delta TWU campaign. This campaign was designed to give Delta flight attendants the option to join a different union and finally secure union representation for all 20,000 flight attendants. This campaign has been very successful and dozens of flight attendants who were vocally anti-AFA have now not only signed TWU authorization cards, but have also become activists in this campaign. In the past four months thousands of TWU authorization cards have been collected and Delta flight attendants are excited to one day have the opportunity to vote for the Transport Workers Union.
Unfortunately we have been unable to work directly with the Transport Workers Union to achieve our goal. Why? AFA-CWA. Due to Article XXI of the AFL-CIO Constitution the Transport Workers Union has been barred from helping Delta flight attendants until AFA-CWA formally “releases” the group. This hasn’t happened, and AFA-CWA has no plans on doing so.
It has become clear that AFA-CWA is acting in this manner in an effort to get a return on their investment of millions of dollars in dues dollars wasted during three unsuccessful campaigns. AFA-CWA has a complete disregard for the welfare of Delta flight attendants and for this reason I cannot and will not support AFA-CWA in any future organizing effort at Delta.
It is time that the AFL-CIO step in and allow the Delta flight attendant group to decide which union they want to choose instead of being strong-armed by a union into a fourth losing battle.