NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Laura Glading is speaking out against Delta's (DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report attacks on American Airlines (AAL) - Get American Airlines Group, Inc. Report for its lack of profit sharing, saying the attacks were prompted by the International Association of Machinists' ongoing effort to organize Delta flight attendants.
Stories on a Delta employee Web site, posted both Monday and Tuesday of last week, criticized American for not sharing its record profits with employees, in a year when Delta will pay out more than $1 billion.
"The IAM has Delta's management team scrambling, doing things they wouldn't do under another circumstance," Glading said.
"Everybody would love profit sharing," she said. At American, "It's something that can be discussed later on. All (American) unions have hope there could be profit sharing."
The IAM said it has been organizing Delta's 20,000 flight attendants for more than two years, staging meetings at domestic bases and in Europe.
IAM spokesman Joe Tiberi noted recently that Delta flight attendants do not have a contract. "They don't have anything today that the company is required to continue providing tomorrow," he said.
Historically, union attempts to organize workers at Delta have not been successful. Only pilots and dispatchers are union members. The IAM "has been saying the same thing for years, despite being (repeatedly) rejected at Delta following our merger," said Delta spokeswoman Kate Modolo.
In three elections late in 2010, about 51% of flight attendants turned down the Association of Flight Attendants, about 52% of fleet service workers rejected IAM representation, and about 69% of customer service workers also rejected the IAM.
Earlier, AFA failed to organize Delta flight attendants in 2002 and 2008, although the union got closer in each of three elections.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.