Understand Labor Unions

The Truth About Dues

They’re Mandatory:

  • Once the union negotiates a “union security clause” (which is standard in the airline industry), paying dues is mandatory.
  • If you decide you don’t want to pay dues, the IAM can require that you be terminated – and they have done so before. State “right to work” laws do not apply in the airline industry, so employees cannot opt out of paying dues.

How much:

  • Based on current dues paid at other airlines represented by the IAM, Delta BW and CGO employees can expect to pay about $700 per year.
  • Regardless of how many hours you work or your step on the pay scale, the IAM charges the same amount of union dues.

They do increase:

  • Dues frequently increase on an annual basis, even for members who may not be receiving pay increases.
  • There is no cap on the union’s ability to increase dues.

If you don’t pay, things could get ugly

Don’t like union dues? Say “no” to the IAM.

A union is certified

  • Long negotiations

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

  • Uncertainty and stagnation

Improvements to pay, benefits and work rules usually cease pending negotiation of the initial contract.

  • In a first contract, everything is on the table

Pay, benefits and work rules are up for negotiation. In negotiations things can get better, stay the same or get worse.

  • Pay your dues or be fired

State “right to work” laws don’t apply in the airline industry and airline labor contracts typically include provisions that provide for employees to be terminated if you don’t pay your dues.

  • There is no cap on dues

Nothing in the law protects you from a union’s increases in costs and expenditures or the obligation to pay for those increases through increasing dues.

  • There is no “trying it out”

Once a union is elected, going back to union-free status is virtually impossible and to our knowledge has never been done before in a large workgroup like Below Wing ACS and Cargo.

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