The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT, or the Teamsters) has announced it wants to become the exclusive union representative of Delta mechanics and related employees. The Teamsters represents workers inside and outside the airline industry, including mechanics, customer service and ramp agents, stock clerks, dispatch personnel, flight attendants, and pilots at other carriers.
Learn more about the benefits of working at Delta today, and the potential impact the Teamsters could have on our future.
To call for a union election among Delta mechanics and related employees, at least 50% of employees in the workgroup must sign A-cards. The Teamsters can use your signed card to request an election for an entire year. Even if you change your mind, the union does not have to return your signed card.
Signing an A-card provides the Teamsters with your personal information. In the past, some unions have used that information to call, text, and even visit employees’ homes. Recently, Delta employees have reported receiving text messages and home visits from Teamsters representatives. Delta does not give out any employees’ home addresses or contact information. Union representatives may obtain personal information from peers or public records.
Contract negotiations can take years to complete, and improvements are minimal while the process plays out. Just look at Teamsters’ track record at other airlines:
United: 3+ years to finalize a contract for mechanics in 2016, after United merged with Continental.
NetJets: 6+ years to negotiate their current contract in 2017 for 212 mechanics.
Allegiant: 3.5+ years to negotiate their first contract in 2021 for 415 mechanics.
Atlas/Polar: 3+ years to negotiate their first contract in 2012 for dispatchers.
UPS: 4 years to reach a contract for 1,200 AMTs in 2011.
The direct relationship between leaders and employees has proven to be a faster, stronger, and more effective way to drive improvements at Delta.
During negotiations, there are usually thousands of individual items that are discussed – all of which are subject to give and take. Reaching an agreement on a contract means everything has to come together in one cohesive framework that works for employees, the union, and for the company. Increasing costs in one area may mean decreasing in another, and for any one item, the end result may be better, worse, or the same as what you have today.
After years of negotiations, 95% of eligible Sun Country flight attendants voted to reject a Teamsters contract with the airline in 2023, despite union assurances that it would significantly improve wages and working conditions.
In 2018, 54% of UPS Teamsters members voted down a contract. The ratified contract failed to achieve workers’ objectives of a $15 minimum wage with catch-up raises, instead granting $13 with no catch-up raises. The contract also failed to address worker concerns related to excessive forced overtime, technological surveillance, and harassment by supervisors. Despite these concerns and members’ rejection, under the Constitution in place at the time, the Teamsters’ leadership overruled members and ratified the agreement.