Delta Air Lines launched a new series of Zac Posen-designed uniforms several years ago — and then a number of Delta flight attendants reported health issues allegedly caused by the uniforms’ fabric. Several lawsuits against Lands’ End — the uniform manufacturer — ensued. Those lawsuits were (as I understand it) merged into one, big class action: Gilbert v. Lands’ End, Inc. But a judge denied the lawsuit’s class certification. (Lawyers: feel free to explain this in the Comments section!) During that process, some flight attendants wore black uniforms and Delta finally introduced some new threads that seemed to work for everyone.
As Sari Lesk of the Milwaukee Business Journal reports, “a federal judge in the Western District of Wisconsin granted summary judgment to Lands’ End on claims relating to personal injury. The only claims that could persist in the case were those relating to property damage.” Ms. Lesk noted this week that those claims and settlements should be wrapping up sometime in the next few months.
I think many people assume Delta flight attendants are part of a union. They are not.
But there certainly have been efforts to change that. (No doubt Delta being the first airline to pay flight attendants for boarding time was a major attempt toward encouraging FAs not to unionize.)
NEW: Delta is the last major airline without a flight attendants union—but not for long.
Delta flight attendants have launched a massive union drive that would organize 22K workers with @AFA_CWA.
They narrowly lost a union election in 2010 but say this time the tide has turned. pic.twitter.com/GQF548kPsA
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) June 8, 2022
Management always promotes our profit sharing as a reason not to organize. But the truth is, the only way to ensure we keep profit sharing is to organize and get the benefits we’ve earned in black and white – in a legally binding contract.
Stronger Together, Better Together 💜✈️ pic.twitter.com/sumDKJa48C
— DeltaAFA (@DeltaAFA) February 14, 2023
There are also others just fine with the status quo.
The @Delta #FlightAttendant loves their job because they are #IndustryLeaders who top the competition! If @afa_cwa had a track record of success, they wouldn’t have a track record of losses and trouble getting #Delta #FlightAttendants to support them… @DeltaAFA doesn’t get it. https://t.co/71q0hcymWG pic.twitter.com/jKfI0w3mRd
— ONE DELTA – FLIGHT ATTENDANTS (@WeAreONEDELTA) June 14, 2022
(By the way, if you ever want to go down a deep rabbit hole of, erm, spirited back-and-forth, read the Twitter exchanges between the pro- and non-union folks. Grab your popcorn and get comfortable.)
I’m genuinely curious here. Could a union have helped the Delta flight attendants’ lawsuit(s) against Lands’ End? I’m not suggesting anything sketchy, like “magically” finding a union-friendly judge to handle the case(s). But would different lawyers hired by the union have helped? (Not to say these lawyers are sub-par or anything.) Do you think this situation will influence a unionization vote? Should it?
I’m not being snarky or anything like that. (Will wonders ever cease?!) But I’d love to hear takes from flight attendants — Delta and those working at other (read: union) airlines. Others with union knowledge and experience, please feel free to chime in. Please share your comments below. (Keep it civil, please 🙂 )
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