National Mediation Board to investigate Delta election

The National Mediation Board announced Wednesday it intends to investigate allegations from a flight attendants union that Delta Airlines interfered with a union election.

The bid to unionize failed last November when only 47 percent of Delta flight attendants voted to join the Association of Flight Attendants or AFA.

Those voting included about 1,900 Twin Cities employees who joined Delta after its 2008 merger with Northwest.

The AFA says management intimidated workers before the vote.

In a letter released by the union, National Mediation Board General Counsel Mary Johnson said "further investigation was needed" to discover whether Delta interfered with the 2010 union vote.

The investigation includes interviews with both the airline and union and an "on-site investigation," according to Johnson's June 1 letter.

AFA president Veda Shook said Delta management tried to intimidate employees, even calling some at home.

"It was wide-scale carrier interference, from big posters in every lounge. When they check in at work, on the computer there'd be pop up screens about voting," Shook said.

Reading from a statement, Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant said the vote should stand.

"We're now two and a half years after our merger has taken place. We continue to believe the AFA's claims are without merit. If the NMB follows decades of past precedent, they will dismiss these allegations and uphold the election results," Durrant said.

If the NMB finds evidence of interference, it could order a new election.

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