Republican Members of Congress Join Growing Call for Delta Air Lines to Remain Neutral in Union Organizing Campaign

Feb 21, 2024 | Politics & Legislative News

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2024 – Five more Republican members of Congress are calling on Delta Air Lines to sign a neutrality agreement and respect the rights of its employees to join a union. 

U.S. Reps. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) and Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) penned the letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian. The call comes after a Congressional Labor Caucus letter garnered 146 members of Congress to sign on, including Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.).

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.

“Adopting a neutrality agreement simply involves an employer agreeing not to engage in pre-election activities that influence workers’ freedom to form a union,” the Republican letter says to Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Your commitment to neutrality would ensure that management does not pressure workers into voting against unionization or delaying the election process. We believe a neutrality agreement would demonstrate Delta’s respect of workers’ rights and would comply with the Railway Labor Act’s directive to not impact its employees in their choice of a workplace representative.”

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.

“The IAM and Delta workers are extremely grateful for the bipartisan support of workers’ rights at Delta,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “Delta has the opportunity to do the right thing by ending its scorched-Earth campaign against its own employees.”

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. 

“All workers should have the free and fair choice to join a union, as is required by law,” continues the Republican letter. “We urge you to adopt a neutrality agreement with regard to any efforts by your employees to unionize, to meet with your employees to implement this agreement and to commit to negotiating in good faith if your employees do choose to form a union.”

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,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “It’s time to put an end to the intimidation and give Delta workers the voice on the job that they deserve.”

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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