Letters over merger fly between Delta and International Association of Machinists


Yesterday, Robert Roach, Jr., general vice president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers made public a letter written to Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson asking for a meeting regarding the Delta-Northwest merger. In his letter, he said:

“We are in the process of evaluating the progress of Delta’s and Northwest’s integration, specifically as that integration impacts the crafts and classes of employees represented by the IAM at Northwest. To that end, we believe it would be in the best interest of all involved to meet with you for the purpose of discussing issues relevant to the process, issues such as your business plan for the combined organization going forward, the timing of your remaining steps to achieving single carrier status with regard to the IAM represented crafts and classes, the proper composition or definition of those crafts and classes at the combined carrier, and other issues which will help facilitate our determination of single carrier status.

“We have attempted to schedule meetings with you in the past to no avail, therefore I must stress that such a meeting is very important to move this process to the next level.”

Today, Delta Air Lines responded to Mr. Roach’s letter with a response from Mike Campbell, executive vice president of Human Resources and Labor Relations. In the letter, Delta accepts Roach’s meeting request and calls for a resolution of the status of the various Northwest Airlines crafts or classes represented by the IAM pre-merger. It reads:

“This letter is in response to your letter of July 27, 2009, to Richard Anderson, as well as a follow up to our several telephone calls of today and Friday, July 24.

“We have agreed to meet next week in Washington, DC, and I am awaiting confirmation from your office of either Monday, August 3; Tuesday, August 4; or Wednesday, August 5. As I stated, the National Mediation Board has agreed to make offices available for our meeting starting at 9:00 am on whatever day we agree upon.

“In your letter, you state that the purpose of our meeting will be to discuss various issues which will help facilitate your determination of single carrier status. As you know, we have taken the position since November 5, 2008, that we constitute a single transportation system. All other pre-merger unions at both DL and NWA have agreed with that position. As recently as yesterday, the AFA filed with the NMB stating ‘it is AFA’s belief that based upon the standards governing the establishment of a single transportation system… Northwest and Delta are now a single transportation system.’ Of course, in January of this year, the NMB agreed with each pre-merger union that requested a finding of single carrier status.

“In view of this history, the IAM is now the only union that has not filed to resolve its post-merger representation status. We are available to discuss whatever subjects you want to raise, but in the end, we want to make clear that the continued post-merger status of the various NWA crafts or classes represented by the IAM pre-merger needs to be resolved.

“Finally, with respect to your statement that the IAM has attempted to schedule meetings with Mr. Anderson in the past, we have no record that any IAM official has attempted to contact him or the undersigned to schedule a meeting for the purpose set forth in your letter.

“I look forward to a productive meeting next week that starts the process of resolving post-merger representation.”