26-Year Delta Air Lines Vet Says He Was Fired After Criticizing Baggage Handler Pay

There is a game of he said/airline said going on between a baggage handler who was recently fired after more than two decades on the job. He claims he was fired for speaking out publicly on his co-workers’ wages while Delta maintains that the man’s statements were untrue and in violation of company policy.

In a recent video for a group called Workday Minnesota, the veteran baggage handler made the statement that “A lot of the Delta workers make… under $15 an hour,” estimating that around half of them make below that $15/hour mark.

Some believe that this remark, along with the man’s history as a labor activist, that led Delta to fire him.

Federal labor laws generally prohibit retaliation against employees for making statements about wages., but the airline claims that the longtime worker was dismissed for making disparaging and untrue remarks.

“Delta regrets any instance where a longtime employee is terminated,” reads a statement to the Pioneer Press. “However, Delta requires all employees to meet company performance and conduct standards. This includes upholding our core values of respect and honesty in any communications regarding Delta.”

The airline says it “invites healthy, constructive discussion across all areas of its business,” and that it applies “policies consistently and in a nondiscriminatory manner, based on an individual’s conduct and record of job performance, without regard to anyone’s personal views.”

The fired employee maintains that his statement about Delta wages is accurate when you factor in pay for contract workers.

[via Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]