April 7, 2015
IAM temporarily suspends application to represent Delta Airlines flight attendants
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is the most powerful union connected with the US aviation industry with over 100,000 members. It is universally acknowledged that as a union, it has managed to negotiate some of the very best deals for its members. For over two years Delta flight attendants have been organizing an approach to AIM in order to get the union to represent their interests.Back on 23rd January this year, “An overwhelming majority of Delta Flight Attendants today demanded that a union representation vote be conducted,” was declared by IAM General Vice President, Sito Pantoja. “They are an inspiration to the entire labor movement. The IAM will make every effort to ensure that they achieve their goal of negotiating an industry-leading contract.” This was said at the time when IAM delivered 12,000 request cards from Delta flight attendants to the National Mediation Board (NMB) formally requesting that the federal agency conduct a union representation election at Delta. The minimum requirement is 50% of staff agreeing for the NMB to hold an election, the 12,000 cards represented 60% of the carrier’s 20,000 flight attendants. “We are the reason Delta is the world’s most profitable carrier and leads the industry in almost every financial and operational measure,” said 35-year Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant Gabe Perez at the time. “Yet, we lag the industry in wages, benefits and work rules. That will change once we win our election and negotiate the industry-best contract we deserve.”
However it has now been announced that owing to the number of cards submitted which “contain insufficient information or questionable signatures” the IAM union has temporarily withdrawn its application to represent the 20,000 flight attendants at Delta. Now begins a 12-month process where IAM reduce the number of questionable cards and obtain an unquestionable amount of support from Delta’s flight attendants. As AIM has confirmed “the number of questionable cards makes our showing of interest borderline.” In the meantime the IAM is also aiming to organize Boeing workers in South Carolina and Airbus workers in Alabama. A vote by Boeing workers is set for April 22.