Vicious TruthsDelta F/A e-mail Newsletter #13                August 16, 2001


After spending six years and millions of dollars, it looks as if the afa has finally deceived enough F/As to get an election. With its penchant for exaggerating, the afa is likely to claim otherwise, but based upon recent statements by the afa and its supporters, it isn’t likely to have much more than the 35% minimum needed to get an election. That should bode well for us because many people who sign cards have no intention of voting for a union. The twu, for example, had cards from 35% of Delta ACS personnel, but received only 17% of the vote. 

The afa originally sought to get cards from 75% of us because they knew large numbers of signers would not support the afa in an election.  People sign cards to get others off their backs, because they come to realize they’ve been misled, because they are irritated about something at the moment or because they were not fully informed of the disadvantages of union membership when they signed. Consequently, under normal circumstances, the odds would greatly favor those of us who prefer to remain union-free. 

Unfortunately, these are not going to be “normal circumstances.” If this election proceeds as now seems likely, it is going to transcend the afa because of our sheer numbers, because we have become a beacon of steadfast resistance to unions for decades, and because union membership, which has been nose-diving for decades, is suffering gravely during this recession. Under the circumstances, this election will be a bell-weather for the union movement. Consequently afa operatives and supporters are going to be out in force, confronting us at every opportunity in airports, on aircraft, in lounges, at our homes. They’re going to be phoning us repeatedly and flooding us with campaign material. In sum, they’re going to be doing everything they possibly can to win. They are not, however, going to be the only ones we have to contend with. They’ll be receiving support from afa F/As at other airlines, from pilots, from the AFL-CIO, and from members of other unions. They’re almost certain to get support from the liberal media. 

All this is not to say that odds are insurmountable, they’re not, but we’re going to have to get actively involved and fight back – aggressively - to rid ourselves of this menace. We’ve got to expend as much effort challenging and debunking the afa as its supporters spend trying to trash Delta.

Since the afa’s arguments, prevarications, campaign promises, etc., haven’t changed over the years, a great deal of the material we’ve published in previous issues of Vicious e-Truths and its predecessors is still relevant (i.e. valuable ammunition for our campaign). Unless you’ve been on our mailing list since 1995, you aren’t likely to have seen much of it.  Consequently, we’re going to be sending out salient excerpts from the past in this and subsequent issues.  Please make and distribute as many copies of these as you possibly can and ask the recipients to do the same.  To assist those of you on our snail-mail list, we will be sending out as many extra copies as we can (without increasing the cost of postage) to enable you to get them into circulation faster.  Meanwhile, we will of course be doing everything we can to provide new information via Vicious Truths and Vicious e-Truths. 

Now for the unpleasant part of all this. We’d like to send out issues by both e and snail mail each week, if possible.  The problem is that, frankly, contributions haven’t been sufficient to maintain our present level of communications, much less to increase it.  So please…   If you can only spare $5 or $10, that’s fine.  If everyone on our mailing lists gave $5, we’d be in great shape.  Whatever you can offer, think of it as an investment to protect against having to start paying the afa $39 every month.

The Japanese have a saying that is appropriate for us - “Out of danger comes opportunity.”  If we can meet this challenge and soundly defeat the afa, odds are great that it will be years before the afa’s members will again be willing to risk millions more of their dues money on another campaign. Hold that thought.  It’s beautiful!

Let’s get to work.  Here are the first excerpts:


October 31, 1995

I sure hope nobody falls for the union’s line about caring for us and wanting to help us.  Unions aren’t religions, crusades, or charitable institutions…unions are businesses!  They’re in the business of representing employees and their business has been awful! Union membership has been in a free-fall for years, declining from about one in three to one in ten employees in the private sector.  Desperate, unions have been increasing dues, merging, trying to steal each other’s members, and trying to attract new members in order to survive. If the afa succeeds in organizing us, it will take in a cool $8 million a year in dues…to start (for that kind of money we could retain O.J.’s dream team!).

November 15, 1995 

Union marketing hype assures F/As that it will “help make Delta a stronger organization.”  Do you think bridge blocking type tactics, refusing service, refusing to smile, or continually criticizing [i.e. chaos tactics] will “help make Delta a stronger organization?”  Insofar as F/As having a “voice” is concerned, the AFA Constitution and By-Laws protect it against members who object to such things as bridge blocking, political “taxes,” refusing to smile, refusing to serve passengers (i.e. “chaos tactics”).  Here’s what it says,  “Any member (in any class of membership) may be fined, suspended, expelled or otherwise disciplined for any of the following acts... j.  Doing anything contrary to the best interests of the Union or its members...l.  Acting in any manner disloyal to the Union.”  Guess who decides what is “contrary to the best interests of the union” and what is “in any manner acting disloyal to the union?”  

November 24, 1995   

I oppose the AFA and fervently believe all F/As should oppose the AFA because it would have a vested interest in creating dissension, bitterness and controversy to justify its existence and the $8 million it would rake in each year in dues.  I think we should oppose the AFA for a number of other reasons I have mentioned or will mention in letters like this but, most of all, we should oppose the union because Delta will do far more to keep us union-free than it will ever do for us if we join a union.


November 29, 1995


If F/As managed, at some point, to get an agreement, it could be changed without F/As approval.  According to the AFA’s constitution, “Ratification of side letters of agreement (side letters) shall normally be by master executive council vote only.”  To illustrate what this means, there are 21 side letters accompanying the AFA’s agreement with USAir.  One is titled, “Pay Reduction and Longevity Freeze.”  In other words, the union could agree to reduced pay or benefits, restricted seniority, etc., even if F/As did not approve.  Or the union might agree to rotating reserve as it has at other airlines.  There’s no limit to what might be contained in letters of agreement so, “democracy” notwithstanding, the AFA would retain complete control over us.


December 28, 1995


      If you’re going to hire an organization to represent you, it should be one that treats you with respect, tells the truth, gets more for you than you could get without it, and is worth what you pay for its services... Let’s see how the AFA stacks up:

                              In its recent unsuccessful stab at trying to organize Comaire F/As, the AFA told them, “Once Delta Flight Attendants join AFA, virtually all Flight Attendants in the industry will be organized.” How’s that for taking us for granted?  How’s that for    respect? 

            On page 6 of the August issue of the AFA’s New Horizons is an article, “Separating Union Fact from Fiction.”  It starts out telling us that airlines did not “lose millions of dollars due to deregulation and cheap air fares,” and goes on to say “Profit and loss statements are penned to convey the message top management wants to convey.”  In other words, airlines weren’t in serious financial trouble, that’s just the message they wanted to convey.  Continental, TWA, Pan Am, Braniff, Eastern, et. al., weren’t really bankrupt, they just wanted people to think they were - must have thought it would help their stock prices.  Of course what the AFA is trying to do with these “facts” is convince us that Delta was rolling in dough and, unrestrained by the “mighty” AFA, made changes solely and only for the sheer joy of upsetting everyone. 

            The article goes on to say that companies are replacing “2 million people per day” with “temporaries.”  Let’s see, with 2 million people per day being replaced by temporary employees, 720 million employees have lost their jobs in the last year alone. That’s impressive when you consider that there aren’t nearly that many people, much less workers, in the U.S., Canada, and Europe combined! These “facts” show how little regard the AFA has for the truth when the truth doesn’t conveniently happen to suit its purposes.  Publishing them shows how gullible the AFA must think we are.





Lynne Atwood, IAH 610, Editor    ¨    P.O. Box 19484, Houston, TX 77224    ¨




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