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Delta Air Traces battles with nation’s largest flight attendant union over shortened Covid sick depart

Flight attendants hand out refreshments to a packed Delta Airways flight touring from Ronald Regan Nationwide Airport to MinneapolisSaint Paul Worldwide Airport on Friday, Could 21, 2021.

Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Occasions | Getty Pictures

Delta Air Lines despatched the nation’s largest flight attendant union a cease-and-desist letter after its president criticized the corporate’s shortened sick depart coverage for workers with Covid-19.

Final Thursday, Sara Nelson, president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants, tweeted that the union was getting “a number of stories” that Delta “is telling staff throughout work teams that they need to come to work w/ signs even when somebody within the family examined constructive.” She additionally stated that constructive staff had been informed to “come to work after 5 days if the fever is beneath 100.9, even when nonetheless testing constructive.”

A day later, Peter Carter, Delta’s chief authorized officer despatched AFA the letter.

“Not solely is that this data false, however it’s actionable as a result of it locations Delta in a extremely damaging mild by suggesting Delta was asking workers to work whereas they had been ailing,” stated Carter’s letter. “Such irresponsible conduct is inappropriate, defamatory and should stop instantly.”

Nelson, whose union would not signify Delta’s flight attendants however started an organizing drive there in November 2019, defended her feedback and stated Delta’s insurance policies have confused flight crews.

“Delta’s coverage now refers to being asymptomatic earlier than returning to work, which was a critical concern as that CDC steerage was initially omitted from Delta’s coverage announcement,” she wrote to Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Tuesday. “However we’re nonetheless getting questions from Delta flight attendants about returning to work with a low grade fever and about the truth that Delta’s present coverage solely recommends to check earlier than returning to work and doesn’t require a check.”

Delta up to date its Covid sick depart coverage on Dec. 28 to 5 days off with pay safety — lowered from 10 days — that does not require workers to make use of days of their sick banks. Workers can get an extra two days in the event that they check constructive once more on the fifth day.

“Delta has at all times adopted the science to kind our insurance policies concerning COVID-19,” a Delta spokesman stated Tuesday. “We despatched a stop and desist letter as a result of we imagine establishments and leaders should converse fastidiously, honestly, and factually.”

The provider had requested the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention to halve its advisable isolation time for breakthrough Covid infections to 5 days, warning about workers shortages and flight cancellations, which later materialized. JetBlue Airways and different carriers requested for a similar change. CDC had up to date its steerage on Dec. 27, after loosening suggestions for well being care staff.

Cancellations from workers out sick from Covid and a collection of winter storms surpassed 20,000 between Christmas and the primary week of the 12 months. United Airlines, which nonetheless has 10 days of pay safety in place for crews with Covid, stated Tuesday that it could additional trim its schedule, with 3,000 staff, about 4% of its U.S. workers, constructive for the coronavirus.

Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines give workers 10 days of pay safety in the event that they check constructive for Covid.

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