Delta Says: Stay Away From Unions. Video Games Are Cheaper.

by: The Knowledge Group

May 13, 2019


Delta Air Lines, Inc. recently suggested that ramp agents buy games instead of shelling out $700 a year for union dues. As reported by Fast Company, the ploy is in keeping with Delta’s broader campaign to thwart the International Association of Machinists. Delta pilots have a union, but part-time ramp agents do not. Government data indicate that a unionized airline worker can earn $12,500 a year more than a non-union worker.

Many Delta ramp agents make under $15 an hour and work for years before getting an opportunity to make full-time hours and work up to an hourly wage of about $30. Moreover, Delta can keep part-time employees off the healthcare plan.

The FLSA has exemptions for overtime pay provisions that apply to many jobs in the airline industry. Yet Delta was recently forced to pay overtime to employees who volunteered to stay and work extra hours. The intersections of union representation and the company further complicate the landscape.

How do the unions work with FLSA to represent transport industry workers? More generally, what do companies legally owe their employees in an era of flexible, part-time and outsourced work? Are unions weakening, or preparing a rebound? Where is the FLSA still relevant and where is it not?

Follow the Topic With a Live CLE Webcast This Week

Join The Knowledge Group for any of our upcoming CLE webcasts on hours, wages, standards, and class actions. Employment Class Action and FLSA Litigation: Tools and Techniques You Must Know goes live on Wednesday, May 15,  3-5 p.m. (ET).

Federal and state laws govern wages and hours. Employees and their representatives use these laws to challenge company policies and practices.

We’re convening a panel of distinguished speakers to explore critical facets of this topic. They will discuss issues and questions about:

  • Recent FLSA court decisions.
  • Compliance.
  • Class actions related to hours, wages, benefits, and representation.
  • Litigation strategy.
  • Mitigation of litigation risks.

Companies and their legal teams must beware of compliance pitfalls, agency-driven investigations, and litigation risks. Join us Wednesday for an in-depth look.