In just a few days I’ll be celebrating my seven year anniversary with Delta. Where did the time go? Wasn’t it just yesterday I was a New Hire at the Atlanta Training Center? I flew with another Flight Attendant recently, 40+ years seniority, and we both agreed: time flies when you are having fun!

Eleven years ago, in my hometown of Nebraska, a ground handling position opened at the airport. I had stars in my eyes! My Grandfather, an aviation enthusiast and the one responsible for instilling the love of aviation within me, would have been so proud. I went after that job and got it! As a PSA, I was a ticket agent, worked the gates, and now, a dues-paying member of the IAM. I didn’t see much of the IAM with my time at the airport. I did see my union dues go up. For what, I asked myself? The IAM wasn’t working harder for me, tightening vague contractual language, or improving work conditions. No, they increased dues and still had no presence. I was not impressed.

Ground handling was a start, but I had my eyes set on the skies. When I was working the gates, every time the flight attendant would close the boarding door, I wanted to be on the other side. I applied to work for a regional airline and got the job. The world was my oyster and little did I know I would be embarking on a journey that would set me on a path to a life-long career. Now, rewind to week one of initial training. The chief union steward came to speak to our class. I already had a bad taste with the IAM, but I tried to keep an open mind. I’ll never forget, right off the bat, how the union steward ripped into the company. The union proclaimed the company was not on my side, and the union was my only lifeline. Hold up: I am in week one of training, the job still contingent upon passing training, and the union steward is telling me I work for an airline who is out to get me? I’m technically not even hired, and my job is already on the line! I worked with the regionals for two more years and what I’ll never forget is how the union vilified the company. The barrage of company distrust spewed forth from the union, and it was never-ending.

In 2011, Delta Air Lines hired me. When working for the regionals, Delta was everyone’s first choice. What was rumored about Delta, I can say now with certainty is entirely true. I am a respected employee who is valued. When I go to work, I have 100% confidence I work for an airline who has my back. My voice and my opinion have meaning here – it’s the fabric of who we are. Delta’s foundation is unique, unreplicable, and the envy of the industry. I am not willing to let the IAM disrupt that. I have been there, done that, and now on the other side, I can say, “no thank you.”

We are different, and we are Delta.

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