Vicious TruthsDelta F/A e-mail Newsletter #14               August 23, 2001


January 18, 1996

 Unions attribute their decline to lack of a “level playing field” and anti-union management.  Their idea of a level playing field is one on which, instead of just being severely handicapped, companies would be totally unable to defend their employees or themselves.  If unions really did have a level playing field, and they had to compete on the same privilege-free basis as other businesses, it would be a disaster for them!  Members who didn’t think unions were worth the dues they had to pay, the restrictions they had to endure, or the hostile environment unions created, would quit…    Insofar as management being anti-union is concerned, it’s not hard to understand why management would resist forces that would make them uncompetitive and imperil their future.         

April 9, 1996

 The AFA… is telling us how Delta pilots are losing tremendous amounts of flying hours and contending that we need its protection or our hours will also be cut.  I know the AFA will try anything, do anything, or say anything to get Delta F/As in its clutches, but that’s so absurd it’s funny.  ALPA can’t protect pilots’ hours, but AFA can protect ours?  What are they smoking?  ALPA has very serious problems and shortcomings like any union, but being weaker than the AFA is definitely not one of them.  In fact, ALPA plays the AFA like a violin.  Since breaking away from ALPA, AFA has always supported ALPA strikes, but do you know how many times ALPA has supported AFA strikes?  None!  They never will, either - especially when the AFA contends (presumably with a straight face) that it is the more effective union of the two.  If pilots kept flying, how long do you think it would take Delta to sort through thousands of qualified applicants and hire permanent replacements for striking F/As?

April 17, 1996

…unions obtain strike authorizations in advance when nobody knows what issues may arise.  Members can’t hope to obtain much from negotiations if they refuse to authorize unions to strike beforehand so they routinely and blindly give such authorization.  If, as often happens, a union ends up calling a strike over issues members do not support, it’s the members’ tough luck.  If they protest or refuse to strike, they can be “fined, suspended, expelled or otherwise disciplined.”  Unions could, of course, wait until a strike issue developed and then conduct a strike vote, but they usually don’t. [When defrocked Teamster “reform” president Ron Carey wanted a strike at UPS in 1997 for political purposes, he refused to let members vote on the company’s offer and called the strike based upon the pre-negotiation strike vote].

September 30, 1996

[One of] the afa’s most outlandish claims [is] that “60% of the dues paid provide attorneys who will help negotiate the contracts… assist in all legal matters and assist flight attendants when there is a dispute between the company and a flight attendant.” 

The long delayed LM-2 report provided proof of how farcical and deliberately deceiving the afa’s statements about attorneys were.   The afa took in $13,776,000 in dues in 1995.  Sixty percent of that is $8,265,600.  The report showed that the afa had only eight attorneys on the payroll in 1995 and that they were paid a total of $491,181 - 3.6% of dues income, not 60%. [note: the afa still has not filed its LM-2 report for 2000.  Guess why.]

August 25, 1998

The game plan is obvious.   The twu and afa are trying to scare us out of our wits so we leap into their clutches and pay them for protection.  In other quarters, this is called a “protection racket.”  Currently, they are trying, 1) to convince us that we will soon suffer extremely serious consequences if we don’t have union representation when Delta purchases, merges with, or is bought by another airline and, 2) to frighten us into believing Delta is going to take away our retirement benefits and leave us destitute.  There is no truth to either charge, of course, but in the absence of truth the unions twist, turn, distort, and fabricate - whatever it takes - to make us feel threatened and defenseless.

 September 1, 1998

·         Would we be able to decide for ourselves whether to go out on strike?  No!  The afa constitution says,  The Board of Directors shall have the authority to: …l. Control the union .  2 Establish policies to be followed by the Union and its members [like whether to support a strike]. And, “Any member (in any class of membership) may be fined, suspended, expelled, or otherwise disciplined [whatever that means]  for any of the following acts: …c.  Disobeying or failing to comply with a decision of the Board of Directors, the Executive Board, that member’s Master Executive Council or Local Council…”

·         Would we have a right to refuse to strike in support of another union?  No!  All the afa would be required to do before forcing us out on strike is hold discussions.  No flight attendant group is asked to support a strike without a full and open discussion of the issues.”

·         Would we be free to speak out if the afa did something really stupid or awful?  No! There’s no freedom of speech, honest or accurate as it may be, if it is critical of the afa. [sound familiar?]  “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.

·         Would we have an effective avenue of appeal if the afa took action against us?  No!  We could appeal, but only to a board appointed by the afa national president and secretary-treasurer. Further, even though the board’s decision is final, binding, and enforceable in court, we could not have legal representation. The afa is not about to let F/As have effective representation or let an impartial arbitrator decide members’ grievances against it! 

·         Would we be free to resign from the afa?   The Supreme Court says we can, but guess what we’d be in for if we tried:  “Any member learning of a contemplated resignation from the union is requested to promptly notify the officers of that Local Council and the National Secretary-Treasurer of the Union that such resignation is imminent and that whenever a resignation from the Union is received, the member’s Local Executive Council will be notified and an investigation will immediately be conducted by said Local Executive Council, including an informal hearing with the individual concerned.  Not only would the afa try to intimidate individuals exercising their legal right to resign, they reserve the right to discipline any other F/A who refuses go along with this “big brother” scheme and report them!

·         Could we decide for ourselves whether or not to accept a company offer in bargaining? No! The afa could veto an agreement even if every one of us wanted to approve it. 

 There would be control with a union all right, - suffocating control - over us.  Keep these unions out of our lives, our company, and our paychecks.

 September 23, 1998 

Is there a “logjam” causing “flight attendant stagnation,” because senior F/As won’t retire under Delta’s current retirement plan?  No!  In the five years prior to 1993, the percentage of F/As retiring each year did not change appreciably.  Since 1993, the percentage of F/As retiring each year has increased every year and the average age of retiring F/As has dropped from 57 to 54.  In other words [contrary to the afa’s contention] THERE IS NO LOGJAM!



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




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