More than 400 Delta employees rallied on Wednesday in support for one of the airline's most important initiatives: enforcing Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and protecting American aviation jobs.
Delta's CEO Ed Bastian, along with Heather Wingate, Delta's new Senior Vice President – Government Affairs; and Hussein Berry, Vice President – Detroit Airport Operations; headlined the event at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, giving employees visiting from across the system an update on the progress being made in D.C. and encouraging them to keep the pressure on. Delta leaders Gareth Joyce, Senior Vice President – Airport Customer Service; Shawn Cole, Vice President – Cargo; and Rob Kight, Senior Vice President – Human Resources, attended the event as well.
So far, 30,000 employees have made their voices heard on the issue as part of the airline's "Our Future. Our Fight." campaign, and dozens of frontline employees have visited Washington, D.C., to call on Congress to act.
In response, the battle to enforce Open Skies agreements has netted 300 signatures of support from Congress, and the Trump Administration has signaled it is potentially interested in taking action on these trade agreements to help protect American jobs.
Although Delta has momentum on its side, Wingate emphasized that to cross the finish line, the employees have to keep doing what they've been doing – calling, tweeting, emailing and writing Congress and the White House.
Additionally, attendees of this week's rally heard words of support from U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Mich., who recorded video messages aired during the rally. Employees also saw a screening of the short documentary film Delta produced about this issue earlier this summer. The rally was the second Delta has hosted since the documentary premiered in Atlanta in June.