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Delta flights attendants race to unionize: ‘We’re the people behind the profits’

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Flight attendants at Delta are currently pushing to form a union at the only major airline in the US where flight attendants are not unionized.Workers are racing to gather union authorization cards signed by a supermajority at Delta to trigger a union election over the next few months, as signatures are only valid for one year.The aim is to allow the airline’s 23,000 flight attendants to vote on whether to unionize with the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) and will face fierce opposition from an airline that has fought previous efforts.“Delta is a company that has long union-busted, has deep roots in union-busting, and it is integrated into everything the company does,” said Sara Nelson, president of the AFA-CWA.Shemeka, a Delta flight attendant based in Atlanta said the Covid pandemic had highlighted how important it is for staff to join a union.

She and other flight attendants requested to use their first names only for fear of retaliation as Delta prohibits employees from speaking to the media about the company without approval.“It’s taking the first step to make our workplace better, not only for me but for my fellow flight attendants, and the ones who follow,” she said. “I would like to have a seat at the table when it comes to negotiating my work group, my compensation, my work-home balance, and the only way to accomplish this is to bring our collective power to the bargaining table.”Shemeka said the pandemic had been brutal for flight attendants.

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