A bitter fight between Delta and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) over the unionization of ground workers and flight attendants landed at Monday’s Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) meeting.
The unionization campaign had received increased attention when Delta rolled out an ill-advised anti-union graphic encouraging workers to opt for a video game system instead of union dues.
The post went viral along with the responses.
Tensions have increased between IAM and Delta.
During the public comment period, Delta airline employee and unionization advocate Dan Mccurdy brought attention to issues surrounding 2 pro-labor banners that were taken down. Mccurdy alleged once pro-labor banners were put up near the anti-union propaganda Delta had the MAC Commission remove all flyers and banners from both Delta and IAM.
Mccurdy argued that since Delta is so intensely anti-union, they would prefer all literature taken down. In the area’s that didn’t have pro-union banners, there were still anti-union pamphlets. Mccurdy asked for those to be removed as well. Ultimately, Mccurdy asked for a pro-union bulletin board, “so we are asking for 30 days to make our message heard.”
Mccurdy also alleged that Delta offered overtime pay to workers if they “said something nice” at the MAC commission meeting.
Mccurdy pointed out that he switched his shifts so he could speak to the commission directly. Other groundworkers were also in attendance dressed in their work uniforms.
MAC Chairman Dan Boivin gave the floor to a Delta representative.
Delta Executive Vice President of Flying/Air Operations Bill Lentsch strode to the podium. After fumbling with the controls, Lentsch explained that he has been with Delta for 30 years through Northwest. Lentsch went on to repeat talking points articulated in their anti-union propaganda.
Lentsch explained Delta’s approach to the unionization effort.
“While we will respect their right, always, to have a choice. That doesn’t mean the company has to remain neutral on whether on not we believe unionization is right. We will speak our opinion, and we will do that very lawfully.”
Commissioner Crimmins asked whether there is still anti-union literature in the hallways. Lynch affirmed that they have removed material; however, “we have continued to post what is lawful to post.”
Lentsch further explained that Delta’s policy is “employees at Delta airlines are able to advocate for the union on their own time in non-work spaces.”
Commissioner Horton proceeded to have a testy engage with Lentsch over Delta interfering with an active organizing effort by having anti-union propaganda. Horton asked about a speculative scenario, a supervisor influencing a worker who is about to vote for union recognition.
Lentsch responded without addressing Horton’s question directly, “you way call it anti-union propaganda we call it sharing our opinion with our employees about unionization which is allowed under federal law. We do not have to stand neutral on this. We will not stand neutral on this.”
According to Lentsch’s statement and the history of the IAM’s campaign to form a union Delta will no doubt continue their efforts to bust the union.