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Machinists, attendants may face fight at Delta

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:26 PM
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Machinists, attendants may face fight at Delta

Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:10pm EDT

By Karen Jacobs

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Unions seeking to represent more than 30,000 workers at Delta Air Lines Inc and its Northwest subsidiary could face an uphill battle in elections that could open the door for more collective bargaining and potentially higher labor costs.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA recently asked the National Mediation Board to rule that the 2008 merger of Delta and Northwest Airlines created a single carrier, a move that would require union elections for various workers.

Stakes are high for the unions, which are looking to ensure they have contract-bargaining rights for workers at the world's largest airline.

"There's definitely this element of a hurdle because of the fact that the Delta flight attendants have no experience with union representation," said Rene Foss, communications chair at the Northwest flight attendants union.

"We believe that we stand to lose a lot if we lose our union representation," Foss said.

The mediation board has the final say, but union officials have said elections could take place later this year. History is not on the unions' side.

FULL 2 page story at link.

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