Vicious Truths – Delta F/A e-mail Newsletter #13 August 16, 2001
VICIOUS TRUTHS FLASHBACKS
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:
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?”
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.
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.
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?
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.
RIP UP THOSE BALLOTS!!
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