Machinists Union loses Delta elections; complaint filed


In a pair of votes in November, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) lost a campaign to represent 13,800 Delta Air Lines workers. The votes follow on the heels of a Nov. 3 loss by Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), an affiliate of Communications Workers of America, among 20,000 Delta flight attendants.

IAM had the support of 46 percent of Delta fleet service workers and 27 percent of stock and stores workers. The fleet service vote, announced Nov. 18, was 4,909 for the union to 5,569 against. Stock and stores vote, counted Nov. 22, was 166 to 439.

Both groups included former Northwest Airlines workers who were already IAM members before that airline merged into the Atlanta-based Delta.

Both the Machinists and AFA filed charges with the National Mediation Board, which administers the Railway Labor Act that governs airline labor relations, citing illegal interference by management.

AFA said Delta got flight attendants to vote by first signing on to DeltaNet — its in-house communications system — before transfering them to the electronic voting site at the National Mediation Board. DeltaNet allows the company to track individuals’ computer keystrokes, meaning Delta knows who voted for or against the union.

Earlier this year the National Mediation Board found Delta guilty of illegal election interference in a union election at Flight Simulator Technicians.

The National Mediation Board will determine if a revote needs to occur.

A group of 16,000 Delta passenger service workers is still voting on whether to be in the IAM; those votes will be tallied Dec. 7. And IAM also seeks to represent a group of 2,200 office and clerical workers. It must first get approval from the National Mediation Board before scheduling a vote.

Pilots are the only group with labor representation at Delta.


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