For Immediate Release: July 30, 2008
Contact: Corey Caldwell 202-434-0586
Congressional Hearing Focuses On Effects That Delta/Northwest Merger Would Have on Employees
Washington, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) testified before a Congressional subcommittee today on the effects the proposed merger between Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines would have on the thousands of employees who are key to the combined carrier’s success and viability. Joined by experts from across the industry, AFA-CWA International President Patricia Friend testified and fielded questions from members of the House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee in order to focus on the labor issues surrounding this merger.
“Since the merger was announced, Delta’s new management team continues to offer empty promises and reiterate hollow commitments to the employees yet refuses to put anything in writing, indicating that it is not interested in building a positive workplace culture,” said Friend. “Earlier this year, Delta management violated the rights of over 13,500 employees to freely select a bargaining representative when the carrier’s flight attendants were voting for AFA-CWA representation. Bargaining rights are paramount if Delta flight attendants are to have an opportunity to negotiate over the impact this merger will have on their work lives.”
Throughout the hearing, over a half a dozen Congressional leaders issued pointed concerns regarding Delta management’s anti-union actions and the importance of including all voices during the merger process. Several committee members also questioned Delta management’s dedication to including employees in the process as opposed to simply imposing its beliefs upon the workforce.
“For over 60 years, Northwest flight attendants have negotiated work rules, health care benefits, retirement security and health care, vacation, seniority protections and furlough protections and have all those protections in a legally binding contract. Delta flight attendants, however, only have a policy manual that can be changed by management at will. Delta flight attendants deserve better and Northwest flight attendants deserve to keep those protections that they have counted on for decades,” added Friend.
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.