“Manage down labor costs”

“[Delta’s] ability to manage down labor costs is really unique in this industry.”

That’s what CEO Ed Bastian told shareholders on Delta’s quarterly earnings call today. This is just one more reminder that without a union contract, management holds all the cards.

One way they “managed down” costs? At the beginning of the pandemic, Delta encouraged senior workers to retire or leave. Now, junior employees are working at lower rates. Ed Bastian is calling this a “juniority benefit."

And while management touts a “profit” thanks to the Payroll Support Program, Delta rewards shareholders for our hard work and sacrifice. They’re still looking for ways to “manage down labor costs” on our backs. Bastian told investors today, “We need to get the company stabilized first before we start talking about wage increases." Yet earlier this year, Delta executives gave themselves a “one-time adjustment” payment —from $8,000 to $250,000 each for Senior Vice Presidents and above.  

Management won’t “give” us anything unless we organize. Anything they do offer they can turn around and take away. Let’s come together and lock in our pay, work rules, and rights at work with AFA: sign a card now.

The Mask Mandate

Management and labor can agree and work together for the good of Flight Attendants and our airlines. The mask mandate is in place through September 13 for good reason:

  1. Not everyone has access to the vaccine, especially children younger than 12
  2. Vaccinated people can still carry and transmit the virus to others
  3. International and business travel are still a long way from recovery. We can’t reopen borders or bring back business travel until the public is fully confident the virus isn’t being spread on board our planes

On today’s call, Delta CEO Ed Bastian echoed exactly what AFA has been saying, “if [international] borders are still closed, I'm not sure lifting the mask mandate will help encourage those to reopen.” International travel is key to our long-term recovery. When we speak in our own right as the Flight Attendant Union, we build more power. That’s good for us and good for our airlines.

Together, we can help pave the road to recovery and make sure Delta is OUR Delta with a legal seat at the table through our AFA. Let’s come together to form our Flight Attendant union.