Union desperately grabs at Delta flight attendants

ATLANTA: Flight attendants for Delta Airlines staged a pre-Labor

Day rally to promote an election campaign for union representation. The

Association of Flight Attendants' (AFA) management has also accused the

airline of running an illegal anti-union campaign.



Delta flight attendants have never been represented by a union, making

the carrier unique among major airlines. By the flight attendants' own

admission, they are among the highest paid in the industry.



But salaries are not the point, according to Tricom Associates, the PR

agency that has worked with the AFA for two years on a project

basis.



The union's message focuses on the way changes in work rules impact

customer service. "Basically, we are trying to make the public aware

that it is an issue about taking care of customers," said Scott

Treibitz, the agency's president. "The union wants a say in how work

rules are determined."



The rally was held in Washington, DC, as the petition for a vote was

filed with the National Mediation Board (NMB). Union members from across

industries gathered to show support.



The NMB will verify the petitions over the next 60 days, and will then

set a date for an election.



Delta is expressing confidence that the flight attendants will vote

against unionization. "Delta flight attendants currently enjoy the best

pay, benefits, and working conditions in the industry," said

spokesperson Peggy Estes in a statement. "They have consistently

resisted union organizing efforts, and we believe they will continue to

do so."



In a press release, the union accused Delta of operating an illegal

anti-union campaign. "Management has formed and assisted in-house

committees designed by their anti-union consultants to address

bargaining subjects through company-dominated committees, and to serve

as a voice for the company's anti-union campaign," the release read.



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