Did Delta Break Its Promise to Minnesota Workers?

Delta Delta is rerouting its personnel. The airline announced on June 7 that it plans to send several hundred jobs from its Minnesota-St.Paul hub to its headquarters in Atlanta.

The relocations are to begin this year and will proceed through 2012. The moves stem from Delta's buyout of Northwest Airlines in 2008. The deal, which made Delta the world's largest airline, was made on the condition that CEO Richard Anderson would keep jobs, including employees working in technical support in Minnesota.

Three years in, Delta is still leaving 12,000 posts in Minnesota, but is moving the training departments for pilots, flight attendants and simulators down South. The move enables the aviation giant to eliminate redundancies, as in pilot training. Other moves made in the name of efficiency include the retirement of old aircraft. The moves have drawn the ire of local officials.

"I am extremely disappointed Delta is now backing away from that promise by moving jobs out of Minnesota," said Rep. John Kline, a Republican who represents the Second District, located just south of St. Paul.

Among those joining the chorus railing against Delta was Gov. Mark Dayton, and Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Rep. Keith Ellison, whose Fifth District includes Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Amid the outcry, Delta responded to AOL Jobs and other outlets with this statement:

"Rapidly rising fuel prices and added cost pressures are the new reality for our business, one that requires the most efficient use of our assets and investments.... We've kept our commitment to no frontline involuntary furloughs as a result of the merger and have jobs available for every employee who is willing to relocate as part of the facility consolidation."

Delta declined to elaborate further.

Airline executives, however, spoke of furloughs as early as spring of 2008. According to a report from April 20 of that year, published in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Mike Campbell, Delta's executive vice president of human resources, said that because of the merger, "there may be some involuntary furloughs on the management and the administrative side."


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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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badhog8

what do you expect from a company that charged returning US Service personel for extra baggage

June 13 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tj

cphaed:
Delta never bought Pan Am. It bought some of their routes.

United also bought some Pan Am routes.

Pan Am has made several comebacks since, and it's rumored to be making yet another comeback in 2011, this time as a cargo airline out of Texas.

June 13 2011 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sstuczynsk

Gee, a business wnating to consolidate its operations for more efficientcies. Will wonders never cease. Of course Delta or any other business will look for ways to save money. Businesses must look for ways to save momney or they will no longer be in business. If you ever ran a business, you would know that.

June 13 2011 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mrfearfree

It does not surprise me that Delta has lied to it's employees. They lie to everyone. They make promises to give NEVER EXPIRE MILES again like the many thousands of miles I earned years ago. I had over 83,000 NEVER EXPIRE MILES left of my account that I had for over 20 years when I had to fly to the Grand Canyon to spread my daughters ashes 4 years ago. When I did not fly for the next 2 years these new miles were to expire. OK, no big deal, BUT DELTA STOLE ALL MY MILES INCLUDING THE NEVER EXPIRE MILES! When I brought it to their attention the basically told me to "Go to Hell," we can do anything we want to anyone we wish because we are Delta. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. They have NO CLASS, NO LOYALTY, NO MORALS. They truly have nothing!

June 13 2011 at 1:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
nflamingo

The Northwest employees have lost out on the Delta-Northwest deal, not to mention the passengers. After flying Northwest and now it being called Delta there is a big difference in service. The public got screwed by this mess along with all Northwest Employees.

June 13 2011 at 1:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nflamingo's comment
hachi18

I've notice the change in service...it's better. I think I was flying with the original Delta flight attendants!

Why is it that the Northwest employees always claim they were screwed?? A bitter group.

June 13 2011 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hubstl

Wow.......An airline backing away from a promise?.........How dare they. Kinda reminds me of when I worked for TWA in St. Louis and American came along. Now I live in sunny Florida working for Brand "X" airline who actually care about their employees.

June 13 2011 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aintlifeariot

Hmmm.. Deja vu all over again? Seems to me Northwest moved jobs around a lot before they broke the mechanics union... Moved mechanics to places down south, then 6 months later closed that facility and transferred them elsewhere. Could they be trying to wear out their employees again with moves? Time will tell.

June 13 2011 at 1:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Michael Gentsch

A large corporation lied, say it isn't so. It's been 24 years since I graduated college. During that time I've worked for six different companies. I currently work for a small (less than 100 employees) local company that to date, has been honest with me. Prior to this, I worked for five larger companies. All were regional or national companies that ranged in size from 2,000 to 360,000 employees. Of these companies, four of them lied to me at least once and two of them did it so frequently, they should probably be hosting seminars on how to lie to your employees. The only conclusion I can draw from this experience is that most larger corporations are morally bankrupt. If you are forced to deal with these companies, and most of us are, expect to be lied to.

June 13 2011 at 1:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
schjb

Well for one i fly Delta and have very few problems with them. Second, all the other airlines charged people in the armed forces baggage fees beyond thier limit. The goverment reimbusrsed them. I cant wait for the day as someone who flys many, many miles a year that you folks that want to fly once a year are charged what it costs to fly. I am tired of offsetting your cheap ticket. You want to fly from Tampa to NYC for 100.00 dollars but then get amazed when they cant offer meals and roomier seats. I say please go fly southwest, air tran whatever, thus allowing many of us who fly almost everyweek better options.

June 13 2011 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to schjb's comment
taxid12

no problem the seats are just as big and cheaper

June 13 2011 at 1:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Robert Cape

schjb, you obviously own stock in Delta, so I don't expect to change your mind. I fly Southwest, because they are an honest company. They run an aerial Greyhound Bus company. They offer no "perks", no "better than the masses" games, and they just fly you there, and get you there on time. That's what transportation is all about. I have no financial interest in Southwest, I am just tired of corporate b-s-, and an honest company deserves my business. Watch your wallet on Delta.

June 13 2011 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

Relax everybody.....as I look into my crystal ball I see a future with no more airlines, no more money, no more corrupt politicians, no more big brother watching, no more laws, no more war, no more divorce, no more drugs, no more world hunger....oops, I looked too far ahead, I'm not there either and neither are you. :(

June 13 2011 at 12:02 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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