Vote to unionize Delta likely postponed
November 17, 2009
The dozens of Delta employees living in the Park City area will likely have to wait until next year to find out if they’ll be joining Northwest’s union.
Delta attendants are not unionized but when the company acquired Northwest Airlines, it forced a decision to be made on whether all or none of the employees of the new entity would belong to the union.
In recent months the debate has heated up and an election is expected soon.
But Michigan-based Danny Campbell, a long-time Northwest attendant, activist for unionizing, and a former president of the union, said the request for an election has actually been withdrawn due to a technicality.
In an interview Tuesday, he said the National Mediation Board that oversees elections proposed changing its rules last month, and union advocates would like to wait to hold the election until after the possible change.
Currently, lack of participation in a union election is recorded as a "No" vote. That means even if yea ballots outnumber nays, they could still lose if non-participants outnumbers voters.
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The public comment period for the change is two months long. As soon as that period is over, an election will likely be called whether the change goes through or not, he said.
Delta attendants took the deepest pay cuts and for the longest amount of time during the past decade as the industry struggled, and they work for the lowest wages of any on a major airline, he said.
Concerned about appearing to delay the merger of Delta and Northwest, Campbell said that trainings to allow both types of attendants to work on both airlines’ aircrafts will still take several months, so the unionizing issue is not impacting the timeframe.