Delta Air Lines has instructed flight attendants who tested positive for the corona virus not to notify other crew members or to post their health on social media. This follows from an email that HuffPost has checked.
The email, sent to more than 25,000 flight attendants on Thursday afternoon, states that delta management “will follow an established process” to alert employees who have recently come in contact with flight attendants who ” Symptoms or COVID-1
“Please do not notify other crew members yourself,” says the email sent at 2:20 p.m. Easter time. “Once you have completed the reporting procedures listed above, those responsible will follow the set procedure to notify flight attendants concerned.”
The email includes hotline phone numbers that can report diagnoses and notify management of absence plans. Employees are also asked to “make sure that you take these actions as soon as symptoms appear”.
However, the instructions also warn against sharing information on social media or the company’s intranet: “Please do not post any information about your health on social media (including SkyHub).”
“Employees have freedom of speech about their health,” said a flight attendant who spoke anonymously for fear of being fired, HuffPost texted Thursday evening. “No employer can take that away. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves, our employees and everyone we come into contact with. “
On Friday at 9:00 am, Delta announced that the employee intranet had released an update in which flight attendants allow management to communicate new infections because “we take responsibility for notifying all of our Delta employees seriously and are strict Have a protocol to ensure this We will contact anyone who may be exposed to provide assistance. ”
“Indeed, it was not our intention to confuse flight attendants in this regard,” Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant told HuffPost via email. He added that “there are no plans to punish someone who violates the protocols.
AAt least one flight attendant reported receiving a call from Delta’s Human Resources department about social media updates that he posted through a colleague who is currently in a ventilator intensive care unit. However, HuffPost was unable to independently verify the details of the conversation.
HuffPost received audio from a voicemail received by another flight attendant who came into contact with a colleague who tested positive for the virus. A staff member’s two-minute voicemail at Delta’s Atlanta headquarters advises the flight attendant that “in the past 14 days, you may have been exposed to someone in your last rotation who may have had symptoms of COVID-19,” she encourages to continue working.
“I am sharing this information with you to alert you,” the caller said in voicemail. “We have assessed your exposure level, so you can continue flying for 14 days while monitoring yourself for symptoms.”
Coronavirus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by asymptomatic people.
The updated procedure came a week after a leaked video revealed that a Delta Manager commanded pilots who tested positive for the virus to withhold the diagnosis from the crew. The video was heavily criticized by flight attendants, whose attempts to merge with the world’s top-selling airline were vigorously rejected by management.
“It is a sad, sad situation that Delta’s flight attendants and other staff – ground workers, ticket agencies, ramp services and mechanics – don’t know if they can trust the company now,” said James Carlson, deputy airline coordinator for the International Association of machinists and aerospace workers, the union with which flight attendants are looking for representation at Delta – said HuffPost last week.
Since then, the number of pilots tested positive has almost doubled to 57, as reported in the pilot union on Friday morning website.
Employees have freedom of speech about their health. No employer can take that away. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves, our employees and everyone we come into contact with.
Delta flight attendant
The aviation industry is facing dramatic upheavals from the pandemic. Congress approved $ 50 trillion in aid to passenger planes as part of its $ 2.2 trillion emergency relief package. With layoffs increasing, analysts say the only hope of preventing more job cuts is a swift return to normal aviation, a scenario that seems unlikely in the coming months as the disease continues to spread and the death toll increases.
The flight crew unions have now called for additional measures to curb unnecessary air travel. On Monday, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which also conducts a union action at Delta, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association required “A stop for all vacation trips.”
“We call for a coordinated government response, we call on all of our airlines, and we also call on the DOT and FAA leaders to inform the public that we don’t currently need vacation travel,” said Sara Nelson, the powerful head of AFA -CWA, the country’s largest flight attendant union.
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