Teamsters, Machinists, AFA Wrap Up Atlanta Organizing Blitz at Delta Air Lines


The Teamsters, the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM), and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) spread out across Atlanta to organize Delta Air Lines workers earlier last week.

“Every other one of the major passenger carrier airlines has gone union except Delta – it’s the only big player in this industry to successfully resist unionization,” said Teamsters Southern Region Lead Organizer Scott Bunch, who is overseeing the Teamsters’ campaign for technicians and related classifications. “But this is the first time in the modern era of organized labor that three unions have formed a coalition to organize a single employer at once. That’s why this is going to succeed.”

Atlanta is Delta Air Lines’ headquarters and reportedly the largest employer in the city. An organizing victory at the company would be a monumental achievement – not just for the aviation craft, but for the entire labor movement in the South.


“This is something that’s been brewing for many years,” said Joe Ferreira, Teamsters Airline Division Director. “The way that Delta approaches the situation is anytime a union steps foot on the company’s property or tries to talk to the workers, the employer circles the wagons and tells everyone ‘we provide you with everything you need.’ But they don’t. They don’t provide seniority; they don’t provide any protections.”

Over the course of four days, the three unions in the coalition reached out to thousands of workers at the company. It’s the first of many big pushes that will come in what will be a difficult – but incredibly worthwhile – fight to make Delta Air Lines a better employer.

“We as trade unionists have the greatest job in the world – we’re living our dream making the labor movement bigger, faster, stronger,” said Wamon Hock, Teamsters Southern Region Organizing Coordinator. “Americans are ready to fight for their union. They’re ready to take back what has been snatched from them by corporate criminals on Wall Street and put it into main street. That’s not rhetoric. It’s the truth.”