- Delta Airlines is trying to discourage employees from unionizing by suggesting that they buy video games instead.
- “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun, put your money toward that instead of paying dues to the union,” a poster shared by journalist Eoin Higgins said.
- The poster appears to be linked to the company’s “Don’t Risk It. Don’t Sign It” anti-union campaign, as Fast Company reported.
- As Forbes previously reported, some employees, like airlines pilots and dispatchers, have union representation. However, other part-time employees like cargo and ramp workers do not.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Delta Airlines is trying to discourage employees from unionizing by suggesting that they buy video games instead, as Fast Company first reported.
“Union dues cost around $US700 a year,” the poster says in bold, capital letters.
Beneath that, the message continues: “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun, put your money toward that instead of paying dues to the union.”
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) May 9, 2019
The poster appears to be linked to the company’s “Don’t Risk It. Don’t Sign It” anti-union campaign, as Fast Company reported. The “it” that Delta does not want its employees to sign is union cards.
“They want and deserve the facts and we respect our employees’ right to decide if a union is right for them,” A Delta spokesperson told INSIDER of the flier. “Delta has shared many communications, which on the whole make clear that deciding whether or not to unionize should not be taken lightly.”
As Forbes previously reported, some employees, like airlines pilots and dispatchers, have union representation. However, other part-time employees like cargo and ramp workers, do not. The International Association of Machinists has been attempting to organise those employees.
According to Forbes, only 18% of Delta employees have union representation, compared to 80% of United Airlines employees.
Higgins decided to share the image on Twitter, where it went viral. “I thought it was beyond parody and figured a few people might get a laugh out of it,” he told INSIDER.
Online, people seemed to agree. On Twitter, many people wrote that Delta Airlines’ pro-video game, anti-union poster was insensitive and manipulative.
Because who needs weekends when all employees are part time with no benefits. https://t.co/OGNKgtgOna
— Jonathan Coleslaw (@jcolecurtis) May 9, 2019
Union dues are a false narrative used to keep people from organizing. UW's postdoc union is close to getting its first contract and the raises that postdocs will get as a result completely dwarf the dues owed. This is true in almost all cases of unionizing. https://t.co/ivDGypVp4o
— Jeremy Whitson (@Jeremy_Whitson) May 9, 2019
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the median unionized transportation industry worker made $12500 more a year than the median non-union worker. That's about 30 Playstation 4 Pros with enough left over for a few AAA games at full retail price. https://t.co/slaOHLrviQ
— Bruno Dias (@NotBrunoAgain) May 9, 2019
I'll take employment rights and new games when they go on sale. https://t.co/apxhGN3FwX
— Athywren (@Athywren) May 9, 2019
Higgins’ called the response to the tweet “pretty surprising but overall a good thing.”
According to Forbes, the majority of Delta employees are considered “ready reserve” part-time employees who are ineligible for corporate healthcare coverage.
Fast Company notes that their average wages hover around $US14.31 an hour, according to PayScale. Forbes reported that it can take “years” for employees to earn full-time status, at which point wages hit a max of around $US30.13 an hour.
“The direct relationship we have with our employees is at the very core of our strong culture and it has enabled continuous investments in Delta people,” the Delta spokesperson said. “Our employees have the best total compensation in the industry, including the most lucrative profit sharing program in the world.”
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