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Deltafa.org Analyzes the AFA's "Rights Trampled" Press Release

Okay, we have been wanting to do this for a while.  The AFA has been releasing a string of emotional press releases that stretch the truth to the breaking point.  We have decided to have some fun with this one.  Enjoy.


AFA prose in black, Deltafa prose in blue.

Delta Flight Attendants' Rights Trampled by Republican-Controlled Mediation Board

(or "Oh, ****, How do we explain this loss to our membership")

Supposedly Independent Board Shows Blatant Partisanship

(Funny, It's only "Blatant Partisanship" when the AFA does not like the result.)


WASHINGTON, DC --In a shameful and contradictory decision, the National Mediation Board ignored precedent and the facts, rewrote the rules of company interference and issued a purely political decision to deny Delta Air Lines flight attendants the right to participate in a free and fair union election.

(It is shameful because it did not vindicate Pat Friend's position, now she has to explain how she wasted millions of dollars.   It's contradictory because the ex- ALPA Executive Vice President member wrote a dissent.  What is really shameful is the millions of dollars of dues that Pat Friend wasted on her pet project.) 

Board member Harry Hoglander stated in a rare dissenting opinion, "In their decision today, the Board majority fails to explain that their decision is a significant departure from Board precedent. In an attempt to justify and accept conduct which unquestionably 'tainted laboratory conditions,' the Board majority states they are 'troubled' and 'disturbed' by Delta's conduct. The majority's decision now creates a gray area of legally allowable conduct: that which is 'troubling,' but does not constitute interference. I am at a loss to understand this tortured reasoning."

In October 2001 the Board issued a preliminary finding of a prima facie case of interference by Delta. To reinforce the case, AFA filed hundreds of additional charges of interference made by Delta flight attendants against the company.

(To the NMB, Prima Facie only means that more investigation is warranted.)

The decision handed down today is a 180-degree turn from the Board's preliminary decision. However, since 2001, political control of the Board has shifted with the appointment of two new Republican members this past summer, to reflect the anti-worker republican agenda championed by the White House.

(Here is the vote: Mr.  Duggan (Clinton appointee) and Mr. Fitzmaurice (Bush Appointee and former pilot) for no interference.  Mr. Hoglander  (Bush Appointee and former pilot) for interference.  It appears the the Bush appointees cancelled each other out leaving the decision to the Clinton appointee.  It seems to us that of anti - worker Republican agenda did not play much of a role here.  It also seems to us that your union is deliberately misleading you.  To us, that seems anti-worker.)

While the finding of facts in the Delta case clearly warranted a new election, the NMB created a new rule to benefit Delta Air Lines and denied the workers a new election. By deciding to limit the investigation to the one-year period preceding the election, the Board in effect nullified a significant amount of evidence that led to the prima facie finding.

(False, the NMB found in the case that the facts did not warrant  a new election. If it had, do you think that maybe it would have ordered a re-vote instead of publishing a decision to the contrary)

"This decision makes it official, corporate America owns and operates Washington, DC," said the Association of Flight Attendants International President Patricia Friend. (What else has Ms. Friend said this year?  Remember, the article in the Cincinnati Enquirer where she said "I've actually accused the FAA of putting me on some kind of watch list" Update 2002-05 Item 9    Apparently, she says a lost of strange things in public where she can be quoted.) "Those in the government who are paid with our tax dollars to protect worker rights, have failed us. It appears this Board lacks any independence whatsoever and is, instead, in lockstep with the White House's pro-corporation agenda."

(Uh, a  2-1 vote with the Bush appointees canceling each other out sounds like independence.  Maybe they should spend more time with the "uninformed Admiral Loy" see Update 2002-09 Item 4 for background on that comment.)

Delta silenced flight attendants' voices through a campaign of fear and intimidation that was wholly un-American. 

(We have never known a flight attendant who could be silenced about anything.  Is it different at your carrier? Just what do they mean by un American here? Funny, the NMB specifically stated that there was not a campaign of intimidation by Delta. )

Most reprehensibly, the airline used the fear and uncertainty that came after the September 11 terrorist attacks to label union supporters as anti-Delta and un-American.

(Actually, most reprehensibly, the AFA is the only organization that has used the events of September to try to sway emotions.)

Delta touts its 'family atmosphere' and promise that it puts 'employees first' in the media. But Delta hasn't been delivering on its promises. Management has laid off workers, (True, all of the major network carriers have.) changed the terms of voluntary furloughs after the furloughs had taken place, (False, flight attendants were furloughed according to the legally binding agreement that they signed when they took the VLT's) failed to hold recalls in seniority order (False, they started at the top of the seniority list and worked to the bottom at least twice. All of the flight attendants who are still out had the option to return, but opted to stay out), changed the pension plan to a cash-balance plan, (True.  However, this takes place in seven years, 2010, which allows senior flight attendants to depart before 2010 with the greater sum of the new cash balance plan or old pension plan.  It also gives junior flight attendants the ability to take retirement cash with them should they leave Delta before retirement.) which will mean significantly reduced pensions for thousands of Delta flight attendants, closed flight attendant bases (Okay, that stinks, but it is saving millions per year and we do want to have jobs next year.) and developed a plan for a low-cost airline where flight attendants could be forced to work longer hours for less pay -- all without input from their non-union workers. (Did you notice the word "could"?  Why is the AFA trying to inflame our emotions?  Are they trying to divert attention from something?)  

Without a union, the Delta flight attendants have no voice in the future of their airline or the rapid changes that are taking place across the airline industry. With the potential for significantly more layoffs as the industry continues to struggle, and the real possibility of management imposed pay cuts, Delta flight attendants need a voice more than ever. (Pat Friend herself has stated that "Over the years, Delta Airlines has maintained its union free status by keeping its wages up near the top of the industry and basically treating its employees well" see article for more of what she said. She sure changes her position a lot.  Remember, her guns-in-the-cockpit position flip-flop.

With AFA union representation,  the majority of AFA members are looking at Bankruptcy Section 1113(c) hearings with court imposed pay cuts.  We think Ms. Friend is throwing stones from her highly mortgaged glass house. This hypocrisy of this statement would be funny if it were not so sad.)  

With close to 20,000 flight attendants involved, the Delta vote was the largest private-sector union election in more than 30 years. Delta is the only major U.S. air carrier whose flight attendants do not have union representation.  (We're cool with that)

Almost 50,000 flight attendants at 26 carriers have joined together to form AFA, the largest flight attendant union in the world. (50,000?  Where is she getting that number.  Unless UAL and US Airways can survive bankruptcy, the AFA's new slogan will be "Almost 24,000 flight attendants at  24 carriers have joined together to form RJ-AFA, the largest Regional flight attendant union in the world."   Visit us @ www.afanet.org.

AFA members should hold their communications department to a higher standard.  With press releases like this, the AFA will be treated like the "proverbial boy who cried wolf."

Take me directly to the Virulent DeltaFA Talk Discussion Board 





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Last modified: December 13, 2008