Risks of A-Cards

What is an A-Card?

An authorization card or “A-Card” is the legal document that permits a union to file for an election. To call an election, a union must submit A-Cards from at least 50 percent of the employees in the applicable work group.  These cards are submitted to the National Mediation Board, or NMB, which decides whether to authorize an election.

What is at Stake if you Sign an A-Card?

You may help trigger an NMB-authorized election.

Signing an A-Card is not a way to get “more information” about the IAM – it is a choice to allow the union to seek an election on your behalf.

Your personal information is shared with the IAM.

Beyond your name and employee number, the IAM’s A-Card requests your address, phone number and email. There is no way to get this information back from the union – and Delta people have reported uninvited emails, calls, texts and home visits from IAM solicitors.

You are not signing a confidential document.

The IAM is under no obligation to keep the information disclosed on your A-Card confidential.

The card belongs to the IAM.

The IAM has no obligation to return your A-Card – even if you change your mind, even if you ask for it back. And your card doesn’t expire for a full year.

What Happens if an Election is Called?

Delta may be prevented from making changes and improvements.

Until the election is resolved we would be in what are called “laboratory conditions,” a policy that could prevent Delta from making changes to pay, benefits and work rules. During the 2010 BW ACS/Cargo election, we were in laboratory conditions for almost two-and-a-half years.

There is no guarantee the majority rules.

A majority of those who vote in the election decide whether or not the union wins– not the majority of all employees in the work group.

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What Happens if the IAM is Elected?

Your current relationship with Delta changes forever.

By definition, certifying a union would end our direct relationship and insert a middleman between Delta people and leaders.

You would endure lengthy, uncertain negotiations.

Negotiations for a first contract in the airline industry can take years, especially for a large work group like ours.

Improvements usually cease during negotiations.

During the lengthy negotiation process, improvements to pay, benefits and work rules usually cease.

Everything would be on the table.

Pay, benefits and work rules are up for negotiation. Anyone who tells you that you are guaranteed to start with everything you have now and negotiate from there is not telling the truth – in negotiations, things can get better, stay the same or get worse.

Your dues are non-negotiable – and might go up.

IAM sets member dues – those are not subject to negotiation. And dues frequently increase on an annual basis – even for members who may not be receiving pay increases.

Decide you do not want to pay dues? State “right to work” laws don’t apply in the airline industry and IAM airline contracts include provisions that require termination of employees who don’t pay.

Returning to non-union status is virtually impossible.

The legal process for decertifying a union is complicated and lengthy. In a large work group like BW ACS/Cargo, it is virtually impossible and to our knowledge, has never been done before.

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