An internal message aimed at Delta Air Lines employees is causing controversy for appearing to suggest that workers’ money would be better spent on video games than union dues.
The message, which was printed on a flyer and reportedly distributed in Delta break rooms, is one of a few messages printed on internal flyers, some of which are now making the rounds on the Internet.
“Union dues cost around $700 per year,” reads one of the flyers. “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union.”
“What does $700 mean to you?” another asks. “Nothing’s more enjoyable than a night out watching football with your buddies. All those union dues you pay every year could buy a few rounds.”
Both flyers direct readers to a site called “Don’t Risk It, Don’t Sign It,” which urges employees not to sign up for a union. The site, which is still active, appears to specifically take aim at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
A spokesperson for Delta confirmed to Fox News that those flyers were printed by the company, but said the carrier was only urging that “deciding whether or not to unionize should not be taken lightly.”
“The direct relationship we have with our employees is at the very core of our strong culture and it has enabled continuous investments in Delta people,” a statement from the carrier reads.
“Our employees have the best total compensation in the industry, including the most lucrative profit sharing program in the world. They want and deserve the facts and we respect our employees’ right to decide if a union is right for them. Delta has shared many communications, which on the whole make clear that deciding whether or not to unionize should not be taken lightly.”
Since Thursday, the flyers began attracting criticism from the IAM, as well as supporters of other unions and even 2020 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, who called one of the flyers "a disgrace."
Just before the flyers began making the rounds, the IAM — which has been trying to organize Delta workers for a while, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — had met with Delta workers in Amsterdam, which may have had something to do with the reemergence of the flyers.
The IAM also publicly released a statement on Thursday, claiming that the airline "continually displays anti-IAM propaganda in the workplace."
"Delta Air Lines’ all-out assault on their employees’ legally-protected right to unionize with the Machinists Union is confirmation that our campaign to bring the benefits of IAM-representation to more than 40,000 Delta ground workers and flight attendants is succeeding," the statement reads.
“It is no coincidence that Delta re-launched a campaign against their own employees less than 24 hours after the IAM initiated the international component of our campaign. [Wednesday], with the assistance of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and Amsterdam-based union FNV Cabine, Delta flight attendants were met in Amsterdam where they were able to sign cards supporting an IAM election outside of Delta’s intimidating view.
“Delta’s union-busting propaganda also coincides with the IAM’s major outreach initiative to thousands of Delta ramp workers," the statement adds.
The IAM also wrote that Delta is "terrified" of flight attendants, ground workers and ramp workers being able to "bargain for the compensation, benefits and work rules" they deserve. (Delta's pilots, however, are part of the Air Line Pilots Association pilots' union.)
A representative for the IAM was not immediately available to comment on the response to its statement.