About 20,000 flight attendants at Delta Air Lines began voting Wednesday on whether all flight attendants at the airline will be represented by a union.
About 1,900 Delta flight attendants are based in the Twin Cities, and union organizers held a rally Wednesday morning at the airport's transit station to to show support for the the union on the first day of voting.
More than a dozen people holding union signs greeted flight attendants, pilots and other airport workers arriving on buses at the transit station. The group cheered and chanted as each busload arrived and handed out luggage tags with the Association of Flight Attendants logo on them.
Flight attendants employed by Northwest Airlines before the 2008 merger are unionized, but the more numerous Delta flight attendants are not. Two years ago, the Delta group rejected union representation. Most of them didn't actually vote, but under government rules at the time they were counted as "no" votes.
Rene Foss, a spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants, said the rules are different this time.
"If you vote yes, it means "yes." If you vote no, it means "no," Foss said. "And if you don't vote, it just means nothing. This has a definite impact on the election."
Unionized attendants from Northwest account for about a third of Delta's cabin crews. The union voting concludes Nov. 3.
About 7,000 of Delta's flight attendants formerly worked for Northwest, which Delta acquired two years ago. About 13,000 of the flight attendants flew for Delta before it merged with Northwest.
(MPR's Jeffrey Thompson contributed to this report.)