IAM Withdraws Single Carrier Application Delta Responds





IAM Withdraws Single Carrier Application Delta Responds

By Daniel Baxter
“Day of Action” rally in New York City to support airline workers’ rights  

November 1, 2009 - Delta and Northwest have spent the last three months vigorously litigating their position that the IAM cannot submit an application for fleet service employees separately from the office and clerical and passenger service employees, but Delta and Northwest are not yet a single carrier for representation purposes in the office and clerical and passenger service classifications said IAM General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr.

If the three separate crafts or classes must be investigated simultaneously, as Delta and Northwest insist, then the two carriers are not yet a single transportation system for fleet service either and the IAM must withdraw its application.” The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) yesterday withdrew the single carrier application it filed with the National Mediation Board (NMB) on behalf of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines’ fleet service employees on August 13, 2009.

The withdrawal is in response to Delta’s insistence that fleet service representation issues be resolved at the same time as passenger service and office & clerical employees, whose single carrier applications have yet to be filed.


On August 19, 2009, the IAM will held a massive “Day of Action” rally in New York City to support airline workers’ rights and to urge government investment in high speed rail projects. The Transportation Department’s sixth annual Day of Action march and rally kicked off at 12 noon in front of the Hilton New York at 1335 Avenue of the Americas and traveled to Times Square at 42nd St. and 7th Avenue.

Although Delta agrees with the IAM that the three classifications are independent and should remain so, the airline is insisting that their issues be resolved at the same time. “The two airlines have also repeatedly and falsely accused the Machinists Union of not caring about the employees for which we have not yet filed a single carrier application,” continued Roach.  “Based on Delta’s efforts to poison the mindset of employees, none of the employees can have a fair election at this time. The IAM looks forward to filing single carrier applications for fleet service, office & clerical and passenger service classifications when the taint of Delta’s conduct has dissipated and each of those groups on Delta and Northwest are functioning as a single transportation system for representation purposes.”  

A ruling by the NMB that the two carriers are operating as a single carrier for a particular classification must occur before union representation issues can be resolved for that classification. The IAM’s previous single carrier applications for Delta and Northwest flight simulator technicians and plant protection employees are not affected by the withdrawal of its fleet service application. The IAM will also file for stores clerks separately when both Northwest and Delta stores groups are operating as a single carrier for purposes of representation.  

Delta Air Lines issued the following statement from Mike Campbell, executive vice president of Human Resources and Labor Relations, in response to the International Association of Machinists' (IAM) decision to withdraw its application for a union election among Delta's 14,000 fleet service employees.  

"The IAM's action is repugnant, and is nothing more than the continuation of a pattern of stalling resolution of union representation among our work groups. The IAM communicated to Delta employees in early August that it could file for elections for the remaining 20,000 employees 'within weeks.' Now, months later, and on the one-year anniversary of our merger, the IAM instead withdraws its application claiming that we are not a single carrier.

"We don't buy it and we don't believe our people will either."The timing of the IAM's action is suspicious considering it is taking place days before the NMB publishes its proposal to change the longstanding majority voting rules. "Further delay disrespects our people who deserve the opportunity to make their own choice regarding union representation."

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