November 25, 2008
Ex-TWA attendants decry Delta/NW integration
An American Airlines flight attendant who led the fight to extend recall rights to former TWA flight attendants said he's worried that attendants affected by the Delta/Northwest merger could experience similar problems.
Roger Graham helped organize a successful grassroots effort to extend recall rights past five years to the TWA flight attendants who worked for American after that airline was acquired in 2000. TWA attendants were added to the bottom of the American seniority list, and many were laid off in the months following Sept. 11, 2001. By 2006, many began to lose their right to return to work, which expired after five years.
Graham said Tuesday that the Delta/Northwest merger had the potential for similar problems, pointing out that Delta attendants aren't unionized, while Northwest attendants are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants. Delta has formed employee committees to plan the integration, but Graham said the airline should wait until employees can vote on whether to unionize.
"Delta’s attempt to undermine that legislation and process is reprehensible," he said. "If Delta implements their plan of a 'fair and equitable' integration without first having a union vote, it will most certainly lead many of these flight attendants down the same flight path as the TWA attendants."