When nonunion Delta Airlines merged with unionized Northwest in 2010, it set the stage for unionization votes among all Delta workers.
So far, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) is 0 for 3, having failed repeatedly to organize Delta baggage handlers, customer service representatives and stock clerks.
The IAM blames the losses on what it says was Delta’s unfair influence over employees. In an appeal to the National Mediation Board, IAM claims Delta “created an atmosphere of such widespread surveillance, coercion and intimidation that a fair election was impossible.” The union claims the airline held a series of one-on-one meetings in which the company allegedly spread misinformation about the union.
The board has agreed to investigate the elections to ensure employees freely chose to reject the union. The investigation will delay the final determination whether IAM will represent any Delta workers.
Note: Employers are free to espouse the benefits of not being unionized, but may not disparage the union.