ATLANTA (AP) -- The union that represents Northwest Airlines flight attendants is suing Delta Air Lines to block the world's biggest carrier from starting to integrate the two carriers' seniority lists.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA wants the combined group to be given the opportunity to vote on union representation.
Northwest's 8,000 flight attendants are represented by the union. Delta's 14,000 flight attendants are not part of any union.
Atlanta-based Delta bought Northwest for $2.8 billion in stock on Oct. 29. Federal rules allow for a union election involving workers from two different airlines after a merger if it is determined that a single carrier exists.
In its suit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, the union said it has not yet filed its application with the National Mediation Board for a determination that would prompt a union representation vote. It said Delta has not yet obtained a single operating certificate from the FAA and that efforts by Delta to start the seniority integration process are premature.
Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said Monday in an e-mail to The Associated Press that Delta believes the union's position regarding when the seniority list integration process should begin is wrong as a matter of law and does not serve the interests of the combined flight attendant group.