Know Your Rights

November 1, 2019

Peter W. Carter
Chief Legal Officer
Delta Air Lines, Inc.
1030 Delta Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30320

Re: AFA Organizing Campaign with Delta Flight Attendants

Dear Mr. Carter:

In response to overwhelming interest by Delta Air Lines' Flight Attendants, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO ("AFA") is writing to inform you it has initiated a campaign to become their collective bargaining representative. The Delta Flight Attendants believe that now, more than ever, a strong collective bargaining agreement with management is necessary to improve their pay, working conditions and involvement in determining their future at Delta.

We trust that Delta management will respect its Flight Attendants' legal rights under the Railway Labor Act, 45 U.S.C. § 151, et seq, to make their decision on Union representation in a workplace environment that is free from management interference,
coercion or undue influence. Specifically:

It is well-established law the employees may wear a discrete union insignia while on duty. Since at least the 1990s Delta Flight Attendants have been wearing the AFA pin on their uniforms. Union activists are also assured the right to advocate for the union without fear of retaliation of any kind. It has been our experience that Delta knows and respects these rights well.

Flight Attendant crew lounges, and other non-work areas are places where Flight Attendants are permitted under law to openly and freely discuss issues of mutual concern, including the decision to choose a bargaining representative. We have worked with Delta in the past to confirm these non-work locations and resolve any issues. Please let us know if you have any concerns during the campaign so we can work with you to exercise our rights and ensure company business continues without issue. Social Media is a common forum for Flight Attendants to discuss workplace issues. A fair and free representation election depends on a robust exchange of ideas. Limiting those discussions would interfere with the representation process.

If Delta were to deny or interfere with any protected activity the Union would of course have to intervene to uphold the Flight Attendants ' legal rights. The Union trusts and expects those issues can be avoided and we look forward to working together to ensure a fair and free representation process.

If you have questions about the AFA campaign or wish to discuss these issues, please contact me at any time. AFA looks forward to building a productive relationship with Delta management.

Sincerely,

Edward Gilmartin
AFA-CWA General Counsel

PDF Version

When Organizing An Employer Covered by the Railway Labor Act

Under the RLA, an employer is prevented from:

  • Surveillance of organizing activities
  • Threatening to sue in an effort to suppress support
  • Terminating/disciplining or threatening to terminate/discipline employees for supporting the union
  • Barring employees from soliciting cards or membership during non-work time and in non-work areas as long as the Company does not have a specific and non-discriminatory policy banning all solicitation (a non-work area generally includes break rooms, crew lounges, anywhere where work is not performed)
  • Asking about confidential union matters (i.e. whether or not the employee signed a card)
  • Asking about whether the employee supports the union
  • Threatening to discontinue existing benefits
  • Promising to give employees promotions, raises, or other benefits in exchange for voting against the union
  • Endorsing one Union over another
  • Preventing an employee from voting
  • Knowing how the employee voted
  • Prohibiting an employee to wear his pin on the job as long as it does not contain a controversial statement or violate company policy or uniform requirements
  • Preventing an employee from handing out leaflets on his own time in non-work areas
  • Preventing an employee from discussing the prospect of a union while at work as long as it does not interfere with work duties (contrast this with how an employee should only hand out representation cards during non-work time in non-work areas)

45 U.S.C. § 152 (Third), (Fourth); 29 C.F.R. § 1205.2.