Delta flight attendants to vote on union
Friday, September 3, 2010, 5:01pm CDT
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal - by Chris Newmarker Staff Writer
The National Mediation Board (NMB) has set a date for a vote by more than 20,000 Delta Air Lines flight attendants to decide whether they want to be represented by a labor union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA anounced Friday.
The voting will take place Sept. 29 to Nov. 3, under new NMB rules that don’t count a nonvote as a “no”, the union said.
The vote stems from Atlanta-based Delta’s merger with Eagan-based Northwest Airlines. The newly-merged Delta is the largest carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The former Northwest flight attendants, which account for about a third of Delta’s total 20,000 flight-attendant roster, are under the Association of Flight Attendants. The remaining two-thirds (largely from the pre-merger Delta) are non-union.
The NMB declared the newly merged Delta a single workplace, so all flight attendants must vote on whether they will be part of a union or not.
The rule on “no” votes could aid the union. A majority of Delta flight attendants failed to turn out for a unionization vote held in May 2008. The NMB, which was then counting nonvotes as “no’s,” turned down the vote.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which represented Northwest mechanics, ended its union designation in February 2009, citing a lack of interest. Northwest mechanics made up more than a sixth of mechanics in the newly merged Delta.
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