Delta Airlines told its employees to put their money toward video games instead of union dues

SOPA Images/Getty ImagesDelta Airlines is attempting to dissuade cargo and ramp workers from organising.
  • 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.

The tactic first began to circulate online after Eoin Higgins, a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams, shared a picture of the poster in a now-viral tweet.

“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.”

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.


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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.

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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