Delta isn't just a crappy airline for passengers, it's a crappy employer, too. At least it is if you can judge by the
lengths it has gone to
to prevent fairness in the workplace. Around the World Blog
has some of the gory details of Delta's extreme anti-union activities:
• Open advocacy against fair American elections: Delta issued a press releasecommending the news that Darrell Issa's deranged Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will investigate the NMB’s 2010 decision to conduct union elections for air/rail workers the same as all other types of American elections. Mike Campbell, Delta’s executive vice president of H.R. and Labor Relations said, "This investigation is an important victory for Delta people because it will finally allow the facts to speak for themselves.” Unfortunately for Delta, the facts aren’t on their side-- there’s no reason to conduct NMB elections differently from every other form of election, union or non-union, in the nation. If congressional and Senate elections were conducted under such rules, in which non-participating eligible voters were counted as having voted, then zero Members of Congress would have won their last election.
• Bumping paying customers…so Delta employees can lobby: Delta is so committed to its anti-union ideology that it offered its employees the chance to travel to Washington to lobby against fair union elections under a provision that may bump paying customers. Talking Points Memo reported that the group No Way AFA, “a coalition of Delta employees who want to deliberalize union rights,” came to Washington the week of the House vote on the FAA Reauthorization bill to lobby against fair election standards... and potentially bumping paying Delta customers in the process. According to the article, “A Delta spokesperson said No Way AFA operates separately from the company itself, but that the company "allow[s] employees to travel positive space to D.C. when supporting legislative efforts that the company supports.” According to TPM, this means that “the "positive space" fly-in could squeeze out seating space for regular travelers.”
• Free upgrades and lining the pockets of policymaker friends: An investigative journalism piece in Georgia recently found that leading Republican lawmakers in Georgia’s state legislature received free upgrades from Delta to platinum status, valued at approximately $10,000 to $15,000 per year. Valued as campaign contributions, the piece noted that Delta low-balled the reported value of the platinum upgrades in state ethics records. Unsurprisingly, Delta has a long history of being generous to lawmakers like Rep. John Mica, who have voted the right way in Delta’s eyes by seeking to return NMB union elections to the old, undemocratic rules.
It goes beyond, however, a general fight against the rights of airline and railroad employees to organize, to a very specific fiht among Delta employees to organize. The airline's fight against that union drive has made the airline a target for federal investigators.
The National Mediation Board said Wednesday it will conduct a full-blown investigation into allegations by a flight attendants union that Delta Air Lines Inc. interfered in last year's fractious organizing drive at the world's second-largest airline by traffic.
The investigation is expected to shine a spotlight on labor relations at the Atlanta-based carrier, which has denied interfering with the hotly contested union votes in which its workers rejected union representation.
Delta is the only major U.S. carrier to remain largely nonunion....
Last fall, unions lost their bid to represent 50,000 Delta flight attendants, ramp workers and reservation and gate agents.
It was the largest such referendum at a U.S. company since more than 70,000 workers organized at a Ford Motor Co. plant in 1941.
Late last year, the unions contested the election results with the NMB, which oversees labor relations at airlines and railways. Both the Association of Flight Attendants and International Association of Machinists accused Delta of interfering in the elections by pressuring employees to vote against the unions.
Joe Sudbay sums it up best: "Delta is like the Scott Walker of airlines. It wants to be known as anti-worker. And, of course, the GOPers in Congress are great allies in that quest. They'll join together to fight this investigation and undermine NMB."
He also brings up the fact that Delta is the main airline serving Minneapolis, where we'll all be converging in just a few weeks. If you have a choice other than Delta for getting there, use it.