In a resounding display of solidarity and commitment to the welfare of Delta Air Lines employees, the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC), a unit of the International Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), hosted a historic joint labor coalition meeting this week. The gathering united Delta’s diverse employee groups and labor organizers to address shared concerns and underscore the significance of collective action.
Approximately 55,000 Delta Air Lines ramp, tower, and cargo workers, flight attendants, and mechanics from across the Delta system are actively organizing with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), respectively.
“The IAM applauds Delta MEC for their strong support of the biggest organizing campaign in the airline industry,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “We commend the unwavering efforts of Delta MEC in fostering unity and collaboration among Delta’s diverse workforce. As the organizing campaign continues to gain momentum, the IAM welcomes the solidarity with our fellow airline industry unions. We will build a stronger, more equitable future for all Delta employees.”
Delta MEC currently boasts 16,700 unionized pilots and approximately 500 dispatchers, represented by the Professional Air Flight Control Association (PAFCA). Despite this, the majority of Delta’s workforce, including flight attendants, ramp workers, cargo employees, tower workers, and mechanics, remains nonunionized.
“The management talks about the Delta family as part of our corporate culture, but it’s the employees who are the true long-term stakeholders at our airline,” said Delta MEC chair Capt. Darren Hartmann. “Frontline workers have a collective interest in supporting each other’s goals and helping address issues that we all face. There is truly strength in numbers. This is the first in a series of ongoing meetings and other opportunities to support our fellow employees. While the pilots and dispatchers have the benefit of contractual protections, we understand the uphill battle union organizers face when trying to connect with Delta’s frontline workers. Delta management has historically fought off unionization efforts with platitudes of a corporate culture that fosters a ‘direct relationship’ with its workers. However, it is union-negotiated contracts that protect employees’ pay, working conditions, and a sustainable work/life balance from a management team that may be more interested in the shareholders’ bottom line.”
The labor panel discussed the distinctive challenges faced by Delta employees and highlighted the benefits of legally binding, contractually bargained agreements. The panel was the first in a series of ongoing meetings and other opportunities for Delta MEC to support their fellow employees.