Is the brand of coffee an airline chooses to serve onboard a political choice? I’ll make it a true Daily Double and say no way. I would be very careful before drawing any sort of political inferences between Delta Air Lines serving Starbucks Coffee onboard and the farcical so-called “union-busting” tactics of both companies.
Starbucks Barista Upset That Starbucks Coffee Is Available On Delta Air Lines (Union Squabble)
If you’ve read any of my coffee posts, you know I rank Starbucks right up there between Sanka and Quik. It has always amazed me how much people love that coffee brand because I find the taste of most beans, even at a Starbucks Reserve, to be vastly inferior even to other nationwide coffee chains like Peets or Coffee Bean (let alone coffee that is actually decent).
My point here, though, is not to debate coffee but to comment on a tweet from a Starbucks barista and union organizer that has gained quite a lot of traction. She is outraged that a “union-busting airline” is “promoting union-busting coffee.”
Wow look! Union-busting airline promoting union-busting coffee. pic.twitter.com/vywXOhies0
— Casey Moore (@UnionCasey) April 14, 2023
No, Ms. Moore, Delta is not union-busting. Delta’s blundering campaign to convince flight attendants to vote against unionizing did not do anything but draw more union votes. Delta flight attendants have repeatedly voted against unionizing because Delta offers a far better benefits package than any unionized US carrier.
Union advocates say that would not change if flight attendants unionized, but that is not supported by evidence. Furthermore, unions have failed to negotiate perks like boarding pay or generous profit sharing that Delta has proactively offered its non-unionized flight attendants.
Union activists disingenuously take credit for this, saying Delta is so generous to employees because it is afraid they will unionize. Well, if that is the truth…then why would Delta flight attendants want to unionize? Even if they kept the same benefits package, a portion of their paycheck would be pulled for union dues each month. And if Delta flight attendants do unionize, you can bet that Delta will then negotiate hard when it comes to forming a new contract, knowing that unions thrive by creating perpetual grievance and that it will be attacked no matter what it does.
Some harshly criticized View From The Wing for amplifying the view of one fringe Twitter user, but I find this topic fascinating. Furthermore, her tweet was liked by Sara Nelson, who is President of the powerful AFA-CWA flight attendants union (representing a number of US airlines including Alaska, Spirit, and United). This barista may be on the fringe, but the outpouring of support from union leaders for her tweet is quite telling.
A Starbucks barista is upset that Delta is serving Starbucks coffee, branding the two companies as “union busters.” The truth is much more complicated and while the union discussion is interesting, it is quite unrelated to the coffee onboard.
top image: Starbucks