By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -More than 140 U.S. House Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday urged Delta Air Lines to remain neutral in ongoing efforts by employees to organize a union among flight attendants and ground workers at the airline.
Several unions are working to try to organize Delta technicians, flight attendants and ramp, cargo, and tower workers in forming their union.
In a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian, the lawmakers, who include Representatives Donald Norcross, Debbie Dingell, Frank Pallone, Mark Pocan, Rosa DeLauro and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said the airline has a history "of deploying union busting tactics".
These include threatening employees with termination of their benefits, distributing anti-union literature, and hosting an anti-union website, they said.
The lawmakers said a neutrality agreement consisted simply of an employer agreeing not to engage in pre-election activities that influence workers' freedom to form a union.
Delta said in response the airline "believes every employee has the right to choose or reject union representation without interference".
It added it "also has the right and responsibility to ensure our people can make their choice with an informed perspective". It said its employees had repeatedly declined union representation over the past 20 years.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Association of Flight Attendants and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in November 2022 announced a coordinated campaign to organize 45,000 Delta employees.
Union officials told Reuters employees are currently signing authorization cards. Airline unions can file for a representation election with the National Mediation Board once a majority of workers have done so.
Delta's pilots are already represented by the Air Line Pilots Association.
Last month a group of 33 senators urged Tesla and 12 other automakers to remain neutral in ongoing efforts by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to organize U.S. auto plants, and to pledge not to interfere in any organizing activities.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jan Harvey)