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Delta Employees Reject Union Representation

Delta applauds decision to investigate labor board

May 18, 2011

ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines today applauded the decision of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to further investigate the National Mediation Board's (NMB) significant departure from decades of consistent interpretation of the Railway Labor Act.

In the letter to the Chairman of the NMB, the Committee expressed its "concern" regarding the NMB's "recent decision to advance a rule, which allows a minority of employees to determine union representation." Delta shares the Committee's concern that there is "evidence tending to show that this change in the rule was the result of a predetermined effort to advance a partisan policy agenda."

"This investigation is an important victory for Delta people because it will finally allow the facts to speak for themselves," said Mike Campbell, executive vice president of H.R. and Labor Relations. "Unfortunately, this is not the only recent occasion when a federal labor agency has attempted an unprecedented shift in labor policy at the behest of unions. The Committee's decision to investigate the questionable circumstances behind the NMB's voting rule change follows last week's announcement that they would investigate similar partisan actions involving the National Labor Relations Board and the Boeing Co."

Delta and Delta people have been targeted by two unions – the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) – and two members of the NMB in a coordinated attempt to influence the outcome of Delta's union elections by changing to a minority rules voting process. Union elections for Delta flight attendants and ground employees were delayed until new voting rules were implemented. Meanwhile, the NMB conducted elections at other airlines using the traditional majority voting rules that had been reviewed and maintained by all administrations during the past 75 years.

Delta employees waited more than two years for the opportunity to vote in a representation election. In late 2010, they participated in elections using the new minority voting rules and turned out at the polls in record numbers – more than 94 percent of flight attendants and more than 80 percent of ground employees voted. Across all employee groups, in four elections covering more than 50,000 employees, the majority of voters said no to representation by the pre-merger Northwest unions. Today, Delta people are still waiting for their vote to count.

The Committee's letter requested documents and communication between the NMB and union officials, and communication related to the NMB's election proceedings. A copy of the letter is available at

Delta applauds decision to investigate labor board

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