October 6, 2010
The volume of misinformation, distortions, and even out-right lies being presented as “facts” in our representational election has risen to staggering proportions. Management continues to throw millions of our concessionary dollars into trying to convince us to forfeit our legal rights and our voice in shaping our future. Never before have we experienced a company-sponsored union-busting campaign — much less one this aggressive, pervasive, intrusive and bold. It has been quite frankly shocking to experience the kinds of deceptive ploys most of us have only read about in history books. If our contract is inferior – why would they do this?
Dozens of concerned flight attendants write everyday with increasing urgency, asking us to address every wild claim. It would be impossible to individually address virtually hundreds of examples of skewed semantics and inaccuracies. The bottom line is this: management is trying to get us to take our eyes off retaining our right to negotiate a new legally binding Contract and to instead focus on misleading details they create to distract us. Just in the last month we’ve seen:
- Large heavy-weight mailers – costing literally tens of thousands of dollars each
- DVD sent to our homes to convince us it’s more fun to go without a legally binding contract
- Countless signs, banners in our work areas, redesigned DeltaNet, copious anti-union videos, and posters with people holding hands, shiny airplanes and stacks of money.
- A system-wide “talk show”, complete with a biased moderator – broadcast on the web and featuring massive wide screen televisions and tech teams throughout the country.
- New Decision 2010 outfits for our flight attendant managers.
- Blogs and Facebook pages created for leaders to spend time telling us the “facts.”
- ….And now even television commercials!
If that isn’t enough, “rogue” anti-union flyers have arrived in home mailboxes throughout the system-sadly, with even more manipulated “information” and misleading side-by-side “comparisons” that are blatantly WRONG. The U.S. Postal Service is now investigating possible mail fraud and looking into the source of these pricey productions – which are posted/labeled from a phony address. Please be aware that these fliers appear deceptively similar to Delta’s own mailers, rivaling the company’s glossy print, production and choice of 1st class mail costs. The funding source and source of our address list remains a mystery.
We’ve also learned this week that Delta management has repositioned IFS supervisors and directors to Amsterdam and Tokyo layover hotels. They are taking Decision 2010 Transoceanic and helping to spread “facts” overseas. What’s more, it appears that management is attempting to extend its advocacy policy to the lobbies of layover hotels. Hotel security told AFA supporters we are not allowed to speak to our colleagues while we’re in uniform, or generally advocate for a Contract. Where that direction came from is up to you to decide, but we have never seen anything like this in the past from the NH in AMS or the Radisson in NRT. NH management has told us there is no such hotel policy.
In the face of this well-funded corporate attack on our rights, I have every faith in our members’ resolve, and in our ability to cut through the slick, glossy material, skewed semantics, and so-called “comparisons” of manipulated numbers. Even so, sheer information overload can be overwhelming, a tactic that is used by design to clutter the messages and make us question what we know. Somehow, we have always managed to figure out how to vote in previous elections without flashing reminders on our computer screens, strong-arming managers, or a barrage of slick posters, banners, videos, commercials, webcasts and mailers. I know we will do so again.
Delta has said, “Things could get better, get worse or stay the same”…but why wouldn’t they get better if we’re dealing with a company who cares so much about us? We have every reason to believe we will see the same quick paced negotiations that our pilots had. In fact, just yesterday we received a copy of the new improved contract Delta negotiated in mere months with the employees in Japan. Delta and Japan Employees Union signed their CBA on September 9th, along with an additional yearly bonus program.
We are living in times of robust recovery in the aviation sector yet flight attendants are often earning less than we did a decade ago. This is often disguised by an exponential increase in our productivity. Remember when flying over 80 hours was unnecessary and an anomaly? When we make improvements to our compensation, work rules, and job protective provisions only our Contract will ensure that those agreements will not fluctuate with inevitable changes in management or other unforeseen factors. Promises are welcome, but a Contract lives on.
As a 1998 hire I truly believe I would not have a job without our Contract – due to the outsourcing that NWA proposed in 2005-2006. I was first in my class at NWA, I am a Chairman’s Club Nominee, and I have a BA in Spanish and Sociology. I am not unusual in our group – we are professional flight attendants and this is our career. We deserve a legally binding Contract with good pay, job protection and work rules. I voted AFA because I believe we must have a Contract in our volatile industry. I’m proud to be a professional Delta flight attendant and member of a union that has improved the flight attendant profession for decades.
November 3rd will be a truly historic day for flight attendants at Delta. We know that we can all come together to build an industry leading Contract and an even stronger Delta. Join us and vote yes to a voice and our right to a legal Contract at Delta – Vote Yes for AFA.
In unity for a better future,