Machinists respond to Northwest – Delta Airlines merger


WASHINGTON, DC (September 25, 2008) – Robert Roach, Jr., general vice president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), issued the following statement after Northwest Airlines shareholders approval of the airline’s merger with Delta Air Lines:

“The Machinists Union believes Northwest and Delta will be unable to successfully combine their businesses without adversely impacting customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders because of the two airlines’ vastly different corporate cultures and mismatched aircraft fleets.

The integration of the airlines’ workforces will require the resolution of critical issues relating to the various work groups’ union representation, job security, pensions and seniority at the combined carrier. Delta refuses to address these and other employee concerns. Delays, expenses and other challenges to integrating the workforces are likely to have a significant impact on the financial performance of the combined company.

The same lack of regulation that unhinged our financial markets has created cyclical havoc in the airline industry for the past 30 years, leading to countless airline bankruptcies. The government must stop treating symptoms and start curing the illness plaguing the airline industry. Mergers will not help troubled airlines; sane federal regulation of the industry will.”

The Machinists Union is the largest airline union in North America. The IAM represents 12,500 Northwest Airlines Ramp Service, Customer Service, Reservation, Stockroom, Office & Clerical, Flight Simulator Technician and Plant Protection employees and is currently organizing Delta Air Lines’ ground employees. More information about the Machinists Union and the proposed Northwest/Delta merger is available at