An illuminating follow-up to Robert VerBruggen’s NRO piece on Delta’s unionization battle:
The article accurately describes the history of the NMB’s decision to change the voting rules and raises the logical questions about the lack of standards for the NMB’s review of interference claims.
Since the article detailed the AFA union’s allegations without response from Delta, we did want to provide further clarification. The current AFA allegations mimic similar allegations in past AFA union elections and those claims were dismissed in past elections in 2002 and 2008. Further, while the union criticized Delta for providing employees with the option to use company computers to vote; Delta did the same thing in the 2008 election without objection from the AFA. Also, in the NMB’s ruling in the Simulator Technician election cited, the NMB found almost all of the IAM’s claims to be without merit, there was actually a strong dissent in one of the two matters where interference was found – the announcement of a previously promised company-wide general pay increase, and in the subsequent re-election ordered, the IAM received votes from only 18 of 91 eligible voters, compared to 40 votes for the IAM in the first election.
Unions routinely file interference allegations when they are rejected by employees. We look forward to providing Delta’s full response to the allegations which will be filed with the NMB on December 21. That filing will more fully detail our response to the AFA’s false and frivolous claims.
We also find it troubling that the same two NMB members who rewrote the decades old election rules to the unions’ benefit, will be ruling on the unions’ requests to overturn and re-run the elections. This is not what most would consider a fair and impartial panel to review or resolve these matters. The employees of Delta have spoken through elections that were designed to favor the unions. While the employees did not vote the way the unions desired, they are labor too and their voices should be respected.
Senior Vice-President, Government Affairs Delta Air Lines