For Immediate Release: November 13, 2008
Contact: Corey Caldwell 202-434-0586
State of Minnesota Concerned By Potential Elimination of Rights For Northwest Flight Attendants
Washington, DC – Northwest flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), testified today before the State of Minnesota’s Metropolitan Affairs Committee and Representative Debra Hilstom to examine how the merger with Delta Air Lines will impact the various commitments the state has with the carrier.
“We are very concerned that this merger can be used as an opportunity to break Northwest flight attendants’ contract, eliminate our union and destroy our collective bargaining rights,” said Rene Foss, an AFA-CWA Northwest flight attendant. “Without the protections of our collective bargaining rights, it is likely that management will drive down wages, benefits, work rules and eliminate jobs altogether.”
Due to archaic National Mediation Board (NMB) guidelines, because Delta flight attendants are not represented, the combined work group must vote to become members of AFA-CWA. If less than 50 percent of Delta and Northwest flight attendants participate in the election, the NMB will declare that vote invalid and Northwest flight attendants will lose their contract.
“As Delta and Northwest flight attendants prepare for an AFA-CWA representation vote, it is imperative that Delta management remain neutral in this election. If they are successful in keeping the ‘new Delta’ non union, we could see this merger as the beginning of the end of good jobs in the airline industry, the state of Minnesota and our country as a whole,” said Foss.
Delta management recently began their campaign to pit the flight attendants at both carriers against each other by informing non-union Delta flight attendants that they would be receiving a raise unlike their Northwest colleagues. AFA-CWA leadership quickly responded to the announcement by informing Delta management that the Northwest flight attendant contract does not exclude raises and encouraged management to meet with AFA-CWA leaders.
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.