Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) has issued the following statement criticizing the International Machinists Union (IAM):
The Machinists Union (IAM) continues to oppose Delta on key issues that affect jobs at U.S. airlines.
This week the IAM issued a call to action for its 600,000 members to support a full reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
The Machinists union claims the Bank’s loan guarantees “…create U.S. jobs by helping foreign companies buy American-made products, like Boeing aircraft and John Deere tractors.”
However, the majority of Ex-Im’s financing goes to airlines that are owned by governments or are otherwise creditworthy and don’t need the Bank’s help to purchase new aircraft. And, when the Bank provides these airlines with a loan guarantee, they receive below-market financing rates – a subsidy of up to $20 million per aircraft – to compete directly against Delta and other U.S. airlines.
Delta is not opposed to the mission of the Bank, but believes that the Bank should not subsidize foreign companies that compete against U.S. workers, and that it should honor its mandate as a “lender of last resort.”
The IAM is making a direct request of its members to advocate against the interests of U.S. airline employees and in favor of foreign competition. Meanwhile, the Machinists Union remains silent and at odds with seven airline labor groups who are working alongside American, Delta and United in the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies to advocate for U.S. airline jobs and fair competition with foreign airlines. The coalition has garnered strong support from members of Congress, community leaders and mayors across the nation in urging the U.S. government to address the massive subsidies state-owned Gulf airlines receive that tilt the competitive playing field and violate Open Skies agreements.
Over the past two years, Delta employees have participated in multiple legislative fly-ins to Washington, D.C., to educate Congress about Delta’s Ex-Im and Gulf carrier subsidy concerns.