Delta CEO Richard Anderson owes National Mediation Board members an apology. Here's why:
On June 2, in his weekly message to employees, Anderson railed against the National Mediation Board for agreeing to conduct a deeper investigation--to include interviews and on-site visits--into allegations that the airline interfered in four union representation elections. The compalints were filed by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) and the International Association of Machinists (IAM). Workers voted against union representation in all four elections.
"It's unfortunate, but because the AFL-CIO seems to control the NMB and this administration, we don't have any choice but to continue the process," he said.Two of the three NMB members, he continued, have shown "tremendous favoritism toward the AFA and the IAM."
Anderson even inadvertently called those two NMB members "union members," corrected himself, then added: "I should have said union members," because that is what they are. (The board's chairman, Linda Puchala, previously worked as the AFA's international president and staff Director, Michigan State Employees Association, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, but also for 10 years with the NMB as a mediator, senior mediator and associate director of alternative dispute resolution services. Nine-year board member Harry Hoglander, a former pilot, was the leader of the pilots union at TWA and executive vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association, but prior to joining the board was working as a legislative specialist in the office of Rep. John Tierney, a Massachusetts Democrat.) So what has happened since then? A few weeks ago, the NMB ruled in Delta's favor on the AFA complaint, ruling that the carrier did not interfere in any respect (AWIN subscriber-only story). You can read the entire ruling here. In late November the NMB ruled in Delta's favor again (AWIN subscriber-only story), this time on the IAM's complaint about the TechOps stock and stores employees. You can read that entire ruling here.
The AFA was quick to react to the NMB ruling against its position,
blasting board members for a decision the union described as "shameful, illogical and cowardly." But that apology from Anderson? I hear crickets.