Cruz's story

Remember the “voluntary” pizza party they throw for new hires during training? It’s the one where they make a big deal about welcoming us, and tell us “Delta’s different, and the difference is there’s no union. We’re a family here.”

When I started at Delta almost four years ago, I believed them.

Just a few months later, I wasn’t able to commute into my base for a new hire meeting. I followed the commuter policy, exactly as my managers had explained it to me and as it was written in the book.

But it turned out there were different rules during the fly-right period—rules that had not been explained to me.

Despite following the company's commuter policy as it was written, I was issued a final corrective action even though I had never had any issue before.

At the time, I was based in MSP. Many of my colleagues had been Northwest Flight Attendants who had a union contract before the merger, and they stepped up to help me. They coached me on how to navigate the situation and to advocate for myself.

I told my manager that I had followed policy, and that I thought this punishment was too severe. Eventually, he reduced the action to a written coaching, which still placed me on 18 months of probation. This would not have happened had I not had the mentorship of my flying partners in MSP and had I not advocated for myself for 3 months. This was the same manager who told me that “We’re family and we’re in this together” during my base orientation.

I kept my job, but I realized I was completely disposable to the company.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I saw it all over again. Management coerced Flight Attendants into taking unpaid leaves by warning there would be furloughs if we didn’t. I see it every time they change our work rules and working conditions without any input from Flight Attendants. I am tired of filling out company surveys only to not be heard.

Enough is enough.

I believed the anti-union rhetoric at the beginning, but my experience at Delta without a union has convinced me otherwise. I didn’t get involved right away—even after the unjust discipline early in my career. But today, I proudly wear my AFA pins and carry cards on every trip.

It always makes my day when a flying partner pokes my pin and says, “I like that.” Recently I flew with someone who’s been here for more than 30 years, she saw my pin and told me how much working at Delta has changed. She said “I didn’t support a union before, but we need it for the future.”

Getting involved in our campaign isn’t hard—you can do as little or as much as you want.. Sign a card, then sign up to join the organizing here.

If we want to make Delta the best place to work, we need a union and a contract. It’s time for us to have a seat at the table and legal standing to negotiate our pay and working conditions.

Wear your pin. Carry cards. Talk to your flying partners. Let’s make 2022 the year we finally get our Flight Attendant union at Delta.

In Solidarity,

Cruz
ATL Delta AFA Flight Attendant

P.S. RSVP for the Next Power of AFA Orientation
Thursday, March 24, 4:30pm EDT
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How can I make a change on the line? What does it mean to have real representation? How can I make my voice heard? What will it take to secure our Flight Attendant Union? The Power of AFA Orientation is a great way to learn more about our campaign and how to build power together as Delta Flight Attendants.