Union elections following an airline merger require the NMB to first declare that the airline has achieved "single carrier" status for each work group. The Association of Flight Attendants filed for single carrier status July 27, while the International Association of Machinists filed on Aug. 13 for fleet service workers.
On Friday, however, the IAM withdrew its application. The union said it was reacting to Delta's continued complaints that it should file simultaneously for three groups: fleet service workers, agents and office employees.
"Delta has spent the last three months vigorously litigating their position that the IAM cannot submit an application for fleet service employees separately from the office and clerical and passenger service employees," said Robert Roach Jr., IAM general vice president, in a prepared statement. "But Delta and Northwest are not yet a single carrier for representation purposes in the office and clerical and (agent) classifications."
Roach said the union would refile once Delta and Northwest are operating as a single transportation system for all three groups. "Based on Delta's efforts to poison the mindset of employees, none of the employees can have a fair election at this time," he said.
Mike Campbell, Delta's executive vice president of human resources, responded: "The IAM's action is repugnant, and is nothing more than the continuation of a pattern of stalling resolution of union representation among our work groups."
Campbell added: "The timing of the IAM's action is suspicious considering it is taking place days before the NMB publishes its proposal to change the longstanding majority voting rules."