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Northwest Airlines ends union representation

Flight attendants at Northwest Airlines have voted to end union representation following the completion of a merger with Delta Air Lines.

Following a vote organised by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) just 49 per cent voted to maintain the collective bargaining arrangement.

A majority was needed in order to maintain the status quo.

AFA president, Patricia Friend, said: “We are extremely disappointed that once again, Delta management overwhelmed flight attendants with heavy handed intimidation and coercion of voters.

“They stopped at nothing to keep Delta flight attendants from gaining a voice and advancing their profession.”

Flight attendants at Northwest Airlines have been unionised for 63-years.

“While Northwest flight attendants find themselves in an unfamiliar environment, AFA will do everything we can to continue to fight on their behalf,” said Ms Friend.

“The contribution to our profession over the past six decades will never be forgotten and we look forward to the day when we welcome them back to the world’s largest flight attendant union.”

More than 42,000 flight attendants at 21 airlines are represented by the AFA

AFA is part of the 700,000-strong Communications Workers of America (CWA).


Delta Air Lines

Northwest Airlines completed its merger with Delta Air Lines earlier this year. It had operated as a subsidiary since 2008.

Delta presently has 20,000 flight attendants, including roughly 7,000 who came from Northwest Airlines.

The Northwest flight attendants were in the union, but their Delta colleagues were not.

The latest vote was to resolve whether the union would cover all of them, or none.

Delta shares rose 38 cents, or 2.7 per cent, to $14.23 after the results were released.

“This is a win for all Delta flight attendants,” said Delta senior vice president of in-flight service Joanne Smith.