How can a contract help protect Flight Attendants during IROPs? That was the topic of our latest Delta AFA Town Hall.

How can a contract help protect Flight Attendants during IROPs? That was the topic of our latest Delta AFA Town Hall.

The need is clear. Flight Attendants at Delta shared story after story of outrageous demands by management: people who have been rerouted three times, or calls coming in at 2 and 3 in the morning to move trips up by as much as 12 hours, or Flight Attendants placed in scheduling nightmares after commuter flights are canceled without any support. Other airlines with contracts can’t even contemplate these situations.

We can’t allow the “new normal” to become normal.

We also heard great responses from Flight Attendants with union contracts and AFA attorneys about how IROPs are handled at other airlines, and the misinformation management is spreading to bust our union drive.

You can watch the full video of the townhall here. Q&A begins at approximately 37 minutes.

Here are some of the key points our participants highlighted:

  1. A contract empowers Flight Attendants to enforce our rights. If a unionized Flight Attendant is assigned trips in a way that violates the contract, you have the power and backing to challenge the assignment and hold the company accountable.

  2. A contract can’t control the weather or unplanned events, but if a contract violation does take place in the operation and it’s not immediately fixed with union reps on call, a grievance procedure is clearly laid out in the contract with real consequences. For example you may be entitled to extra pay. Grievances get expensive for the company, so unionized airlines take steps to avoid these problems

  3. In one example at United, as a line holder who is a “legal, available, and in position” to fly your next scheduled trip, you cannot be pulled off your trip unless there is nobody else available. In other words, all other options must be exhausted before you can be drafted. This makes it so rare that even in the worst case example, only 96 Flight Attendants were rerouted (drafted per United's wording) from May 26 through June 26, 2022, while operations at Delta were rerouting us left and right without any recourse, extra pay, clear rules to get us home, restoration of lost days off - all of which is in place with a union contract.

  4. Flight Attendants at each airline negotiate terms that work for that work group. The AFA professional negotiator with Alaska Airlines was on the call and gave the example that demands in current negotiations over reserve rules are built on a survey of reserve Flight Attendants to meet the needs they laid out and protect Flight Attendants working on reserve from company overreach and abuse.

Operations are difficult across the airline industry this summer. Executives at every airline added capacity without the staff to support it.

Operational meltdowns aren't unique to Delta, but because we don't have a contract, Delta management does have the unique ability to throw our scheduling “rules” out the door for “the needs of the operation."

That means that once we check-in, we’re at the mercy of management.

A contract provides Flight Attendants with certainty, structure, and compensation when operations fall apart.

When things get messy at other airlines, unionized Flight Attendants have an enforceable contract and the support of union reps to hold the company accountable.

Watch the video, then sign your card and sign up to help us secure our union.