Delta Air Lines CEO: Airline is ready to move on with union elections


NEW YORK — Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said Wednesday his company “is ready to move on” with union elections that are expected to follow an impending rule change.

But the company said it will stand with the Air Transport Association, a trade group representing major airlines, if it decides to appeal the ruling that would make it easier for workers to unionize. The rule change is set to take effect Thursday.

A federal judge last week upheld a ruling by the National Mediation Board that said it would recognize a union if a simple majority of workers vote for it. The old rule required a majority of the entire work force to vote yes. Nonvotes were counted as votes against the union.

ATA spokeswoman Victoria Day said the group has not yet made a decision whether to appeal.

Delta’s Anderson made his comment at the airline’s annual meeting in New York.

Anderson didn’t comment on how Delta is responding to United Airlines’ planned acquisition of Continental. The $3 billion deal, announced in May, would create the world’s largest airline, leapfrogging over Delta in size.

But Delta is boosting its network in key areas so it can compete with the combined airline and lure more business travelers. It said earlier this month it will launch hourly shuttle service, with 11 flights each weekday, between New York’s LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare International airports. United is based in Chicago.

Delta is based in Atlanta.