Delta sued by Northwest union


The union for Northwest Airlines flight attendants has sued Delta Air Lines Inc., saying their new managers are breaking the contract with the union.

The federal lawsuit filed in Washington claims Delta is violating rules about scheduling and other issues. For instance, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA says its members are supposed to get more than two days off after a long international flight — but Delta is giving them only 11 hours. The union also claimed that Delta is meeting with flight attendant groups that it chose without inviting the union, and that it is not resolving grievances brought by the union.

Delta bought Northwest in late 2008 and they mostly operate as a single airline. Delta flight attendants were nonunion, but those who came from Northwest are still in the union. An election is expected to resolve whether Delta flight attendants will be unionized.

Delta, based in Atlanta, said the lawsuit is inaccurate and “should put to rest the idea that flight attendants can be both pro-Delta and pro-AFA.”

“We believe this lawsuit has no merit and can only presume it is meant to divide flight attendants and distract them from the upcoming representation election,” the airline said in a written statement.

The lawsuit filed Aug. 19 asks a judge to order Delta to follow the contract, and for damages and attorneys’ fees.

Of Delta’s 20,000 flight attendants, about 7,000 came from Northwest.