Fighting Back: Delta Flight Attendants Tell AFA "Go Away!"

On Wednesday, November 3rd, shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. shot up 2.5% in one day. The reason? Votes had been counted by the National Mediation Board and Delta’s 20,000 flight attendants (FAs) had rejected unionization—for the third time in 10 years.


Most people with common sense might think that three strikes and you’re out, right? Well, not if the autocratic union bosses at the AFA-CWA have their way.

Shortly after being rejected by a majority of Delta’s FAs, the union filed charges with the union-controlled National Mediation Board alleging that Delta management interfered with the election. By filing the charges, the AFA-CWA’s hope is that the NMB will overturn the election results and order a re-run election and, based on voter fatigue, the union will win enough votes to collect the dues of all 20,000 FAs.

At $43 per month in union dues, with union membership in the private-sector way down, the 20,000 Delta flight attendants are an attractive target for any group of needy union organizers, but the AFA-CWA has been unwilling to take “NO” for an answer. With potential revenue of $860,000 per month or $10.3 million per year (not counting initiation fees for new FAs, or future dues increases), the AFA-CWA has twice targeted Delta’s flight attendants since 2008.

However, Delta’s flight attendants are not taking the union’s manipulation of the system lying down. In fact, last Wednesday (December 8th), a group of Delta’s flight attendants took matters into their own hands by picketing the union’s headquarters in Washington:


Mathew Palmer and dozens of other Delta flight attendants are in Washington, DC to picket at the Association of Flight Attendants headquarters after last month’s union vote.

On November 3rd, Palmer says the AFA lost its effort to unionize his co-workers. “Fifty-three percent of us said ‘no,’” he told WSB.

But the AFA is protesting the vote, saying Delta unduly influenced flight attendants.

Enough says Palmer, “it’s time (for AFA) to go.”

It’s the third time in a decade the AFA has tried to organize Delta flight attendants, Palmer said. But now the union’s efforts and protests are especially troublesome because, according to Palmer, until the union matter is settled, Delta won’t be able to fully absorb the flight attendants brought on in the Northwest merger. Issues like benefits and seniority will remain up in the air. [Emphasis added.]

With Delta being the only major carrier that is predominantly union free (see our previous post, Sore Union Losers), the flight attendants who are opposed to unionization have established their own website, as well as facebook page.

Since it is unlawful for Delta management to assist the flight attendants in their fight against a parasitic well-funded union, the group must rely on their own time and money to fight the union’s assault on their independence. They do, according to their facebook page, take donations and, given the liklihood that the union-controlled NMB will do whatever the union tells it to do, the flight attendants could probably use all the help they can get [hint, hint*].


Regardless of the eventual outcome, it is good to see Americans who choose to stand up and fight to retain their independence from unions like the AFA-CWA.


“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776


* LUR is not, and never has been affiliated with, worked for, or funded by any one individual, group of individuals, or entity, directly or indirectly affiliated with Delta Air Lines or any of its employees and, in fact, has only flown that airline twice. [So, AFA-CWA trolls, this is purely a PSA.]


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