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.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Crack down on association discrimination—especially if there are threats of violence
- Even in California, arbitration agreement can be valid if employee knowingly signed it
- Beware discipline following benefits complaint
- Divided court may mean trouble for employers