Union Sues Delta Ahead Of Expected Vote

August 27, 2010

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The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union has sued Delta Air Lines, saying the carrier is violating the bargaining agreement that covers more than 7,000 flight attendants who worked for Northwest Airlines.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Washington, DC, states Delta "is unwilling to resolve disputes" with the union, and adds contract breaches involve such issues as scheduling and pay.

Carmen Parcelli, attorney for the flight attendants union, said on Thursday that the lawsuit was filed on August 19. It seeks unspecified damages and an order halting contract breaches.

The complaint comes ahead of an expected election that would determine whether more than 20,000 flight attendants at Delta will be represented by the flight attendants union. Delta was largely non-union before it acquired Northwest in 2008.

"We believe this lawsuit has no merit and can only presume it is meant to divide flight attendants and distract them from the upcoming representation election," Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin said in a statement.

The union filed with the National Mediation Board to start the election process earlier this summer, and must now deliver evidence to the board showing significant interest from flight attendants to have a vote. Should the National Mediation Board determine there is enough interest, it will schedule an election.

(Reuters)