Delta Flight Attendants Drop Plan To Unionize
Three months after the International Association of Machinists (IAM) said it had well more than the required signature cards to request a vote for unionization among flight attendants at Delta Air Lines, the union abruptly withdrew its application from the National Mediation Board.
It was a surprising twist, to say the least. The IAM needed at least 50 percent of Delta’s 20,000 flight attendants to sign a signature card requesting a vote to unionize, and the union said it collected 12,000 – or 60 percent – back in January. A vote appeared imminent.
This week, the IAM said the information on the cards might have compromised the election.
"Unfortunately, we have recently discovered that a number of the cards submitted to us contain insufficient information or questionable signatures," the IAM said on its website. "By our calculation, the number of questionable cards makes our showing of interest borderline. Rather than waiting months for a determination by the NMB, we believe the best course of action is to avoid further delay and withdraw our current application, renew our organizing drive and file again 12 months from the date of the dismissal of our application, as is permitted by law.”
Delta senior vice president of in-flight service Allison Ausband immediately sent an email to flight attendants in the wake of the IAM decision.
"Once the NMB formally dismisses the application, that would mean there's not going to be a representation election and no union could file an application to represent you for one year. Regardless of your position on IAM representation, please be respectful of one another and stay focused on our customers as we wait for closure on this important topic," Ausband wrote.
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