Labor board to investigate Delta Airlines' union election


The flight attendants union hailed the verdict, saying "Delta flight attendants will finally have their day in court.”

"Delta management’s misconduct in this election was blatant and persistent – from daily emails to a barrage of misinformation sent in slick brochures to homes, to encouraging flight attendants to vote on company computers, where they could be monitored,” AFA President Veda Shook said in a statement.

“Delta management has not denied the substance of any of our charges,” she continued. “Instead, they have disrupted lives by denying Flight Attendants the right to a fair election and delaying the integration process.”

The conservative Workforce Fairness Institute had a different take, comparing the investigation to a lawsuit filed by the National Labor Relationship Board against airplane manufacturer Boeing. In that case, the NLRB alleges Boeing retaliated for strikes at its exist plant near Seattle, Wash. by decided to build a new 787 plant in South Carolina.

WFI said Thursday it was hard to tell which case was more egregious.

"There is a closely watched match playing out in Washington, D.C. to determine which one of President Obama’s regulatory agencies is the biggest job-killer," WFI spokesman Fred Wszolek said in a statement.  "It is hard to determine whether the National Mediation Board or the National Labor Relations Board has a more radical agenda intended exclusively to ‘payback’ union bosses, while hurting employees and employers.

"Irrespective of which regulatory board is the biggest job-killer, what is clear is that President Obama will need to address the destructive policies of his agencies as he seeks support from workers and job creators in an effort to maintain his own employment next fall,” Wszolek concluded. 

The NMB had already emerged as a conservative target when it changed rules for union elections for airline and railroad employees to define a majority in terms of the actual ballots cast. Previously, non-votes were counted as no votes. Republicans in the House changed the rule back in their version of a spending bill for the Federal Aviation Administration, which has stalled reconcilliation of the bill with the Democratically-controlled Senate.

The change also drew a veto threat from President Obama.