For Immediate Release: April 29, 2008
Contact: Corey Caldwell 202-434-0586
Delta Flight Attendants Brief Congressional Leaders On Management's Voter Supression
Washington, DC – Delta Air Lines flight attendants yesterday met with dozens of Congressional offices regarding Delta management’s aggressive voter suppression campaign during the current AFA-CWA representation election. As flight attendants enter their second week of voting, management continues to ramp up their tactics of intimidation and interference, pushing flight attendants not to vote for the union.
“Our entire campaign is about fairness and winning a democratic voice in the workplace, which is why management’s voter suppression effort is even more underhanded,” said Patricia Friend, International President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA). Last week, under direct questioning by Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH), Delta CEO Richard Anderson “testified that ‘management was supportive of the democratic process and would not engage in illegal interference,’” said Friend. “Their current actions to keep flight attendants from voting are anti-democratic and are a disgrace. Delta flight attendants have earned and deserve the right to have a voice in their future and a seat at the table.”
Management’s anti-union voter suppression campaign gained the attention of Capitol Hill earlier this month, prior to the start of the vote. In the U.S. Senate, 26 Senators submitted a letter to Delta Air Lines executives urging them to “demonstrate a genuine commitment to cooperative labor relations” and to remain neutral in this election. Delta executives never responded to the Senators’ letter. At the very moment Anderson was testifying in a U.S. House hearing on Delta’s announced merger with Northwest Airlines, management’s latest anti-union, voter suppression packet – with letters and a DVD – was being mailed to all flight attendants’ homes.
“Actions speak louder than words and management’s actions right now clearly indicate that they want to prevent us from having a union and having the right to negotiate a legally binding contract,” said Mara Levene, a Delta flight attendant and AFA-CWA activist. “Management will do whatever it takes to make sure that we do not have a voice. A solid majority of Delta flight attendants wanted this election and despite management’s fear tactics, bullying and intimidation, we remain determined and are voting for AFA-CWA representation.”
For AFA-CWA to be certified as the collective bargaining representative, a majority of the entire flight attendant workforce must cast a vote in order for the election to be valid. Anything less than this majority turnout will void the election entirely, even if the union gets a clear majority of the votes cast. The polls opened on April 23 and will close at 2:00 p.m. on May 28, 2008.
For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world’s largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.