It’s a particularly happy Labor Day weekend at Delta Air Lines, as flight attendants were thanked for their sacrifice and told that no furloughs were planned for 2020. How was Delta able to avoid flight attendant furloughs while others plan to lay off thousands?
Delta Will Avoid Flight Attendant Furloughs In 2020
Without another round of federal support, American Airlines says it will furlough 8,100 flight attendants and United Airlines will furlough 6,920. But Delta credits the flexibility and versatility of its workforce with avoiding such painful cuts.
A spokesperson confirmed:
“We’re grateful for the continued rallying spirit of Delta people during the pandemic. With the overwhelming response of flight attendants choosing to participate in our creative staffing options – and based on our current network schedule – we are positioned well to be able to successfully manage through our flight attendant overstaffing situation.”
Such creative staffing options included voluntary leaves of absence, reduced hours, and in some cases transition to others units at Delta. Delta also enticed, though generous buyout offers, a total of 17,000 employees to leave the company or retire early during the pandemic.
The move certainly weakens the relentless push of the AFA to unionize Delta flight attendants. As one Delta flight attendant noted:
We officially are doing no furloughs of flight attendants at Delta. I’m taking another voluntary leave & love the range of optional leave opportunities we received. Shows one size fits all of @afa_cwa and @FlyingWithSara doesn’t work as THOUSANDS members get furloughed. ☹️
— Kris Fannin (@krisfannin) September 5, 2020
I’ll explore this issue further on Labor Day.
Of course this could all be a poker play by Delta. If it fully expects payroll support extension to pass, it has little to loose and much to gain by acting magnanimously (just like the middle seat debate).
View from the Wing reminded me that last Labor Day Delta surprised its flight attendants with a big raise. We find ourselves in a very different Labor Day situation this year. But Delta once again found a way a compromise with employees that results in an arguably better outcome for both sides. I’m happy for Delta FAs today.
> Read More: American Vs. Delta: A Tale Of Two Raises
> Read More: Delta Employees Laugh While American And United Employees Cry