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With a Contract, We Gain More Legal Rights In Privacy

CNBC published an article this weekend about how Delta (alongside Amazon, Walmart, and Starbucks) is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and eDiscovery tools to monitor employee messages. Delta management stated that “it uses Aware’s analytics and eDiscovery for monitoring trends and sentiment as a way to gather feedback from employees and other stakeholders, and for legal records retention in its social media platform.”

Delta Flight Attendants have rightfully expressed concern over this alarming report, and questioned whether this extends to our personal devices that access DeltaNet or have Delta apps. While Delta’s wording seems innocent, the truth is that Flight Attendants have recent examples of Delta management not respecting our privacy like Delta’s TikTok ban. We received numerous reports of Delta Flight Attendants receiving company emails that their personal devices were not in compliance with Delta’s TikTok ban. Last summer, AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson wrote a letter to Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian with a series of questions that concerned Delta Flight Attendants as to management’s application of the ban and our legal rights. If we had a union he would have had to answer these questions.

There are legal limitations that the airline should be complying with in relation to our privacy. Employers should never be monitoring the private personal devices of their employees–especially when those employees are discussing the terms and conditions of their employment as protected by the Railway Labor Act. You can read more about your legal rights here.

If you want to learn more about Delta’s company policy, you can find the Employee Personal Device Policy on DeltaNet. Here you can find information on what information Delta management does collect, and what information they claim they do not collect. AFA is reviewing the policy for any legal conflicts and collecting reports of any discrepancies with their stated policy and its application. While management suggests they only collect certain information, AI is not human, and could potentially overreach its scope.

Delta management has repeatedly blamed technology for work rule violations and missing pay, so why should we trust they will use this AI technology appropriately? 

The reality is that only a contract can protect us from Delta management’s privacy intrusions. With a union, we could negotiate additional legal protections for privacy and have a unified voice that Delta management has to answer to and consult with before changing those protections.

It’s time we put a stop to Delta management’s unlimited control of Delta Flight Attendants. Sign a card, and sign up to join our union campaign for dignity and a legal standing at Delta. We gain legal rights with a contract!