As part of Delta’s efforts to reduce crowding in Sky Clubs, they no longer allow employees to use clubs while non-revving, even if they’re club members. In fact Delta tried to convince employees to take their premium American Express card which comes with club access just last year, promoting the benefits of using their club.
The airline allowed employees to receive pro-rated refunds for club memberships and for card fees, but any friends and family who non-rev and took the card are stuck with the annual fee but no lounge access. Delta employees who heeded the airline’s call to volunteer cleaning the clubs can no longer even use their memberships to these clubs.
Now the AFA-CWA union, which is trying to organize Delta flight attendants, is using that to drum up anger at the airline that might help their cause.
- The petition was created by a union organizer
- Who acknowledges that only a portion of people signing it were actually employees
- And they came out bashing the airline for not responding after just one week
This is the simple reality for us as Delta Flight Attendants: without a union and a contract, management is not accountable to us in any way.
I became active in our Delta AFA campaign because I don’t want my job to change whenever Ed Bastian feels like changing things.
Of course there’s no actual suggestion that a union would be able to maintain lounge access for non-revving employees unless this was negotiated into a contract and doing so would mean giving up something else. The union doesn’t tell that to employees.
Delta proactively offers significant pay increases and makes industry-leading moves like paying flight attendants for time spent boarding and offers far more profit sharing than more unionized competitors.
After Spirit Airlines negotiations, where AFA-CWA didn’t get boarding pay, they told their members that this didn’t actually matter much. Meanwhile AFA-CWA reports that the flight attendants they represent at United are almost universally unhappy.
Delta is able to make more money now, and pay flight attendants more now, under the current arrangement. Union work rules would hamper productivity and thus pay, and Delta crew would send a portion of their pay to the union for the privilege of making less than they otherwise would. It’s clear that for Delta’s flight attendants (a lesson that is not universally applicable) unionization is far better as a stalking horse than reality.