DELTA FIRES MOST SENIOR FLIGHT ATTENDANT FOR SUPPOSED THEFT OF MILK CARTON
So here’s the deal. This isn’t really about a milk carton. But you knew that already. First off, this Delta flight attendant is 79 years old. So you already know that she’s not a new hire. But being a year away from her eighth decade, you also already know that she’s been working as a flight attendant for many years. Yet that really means she’s been working for 57 years. For Delta. And, yes, being a flight attendant means being in a union. And after 57 years, this woman was making a nice salary. But it’s a little staggering to hear, being a quarter of a million dollars.
SHE WAS MAKING $250,000/YEAR, WHICH MADE HER AN EASY TARGET FOR MANAGEMENT
So yes, 79-year-old Delta flight attendant Ida Gomez Llanos was making $250,000 a year as a flight attendant. And yes, Delta fired her for supposedly stealing a carton of milk and other petty things from her workplace. An airplane. Sound somehow a little off? Yeah, I knew you’d think so, too. And if you’re over the age of 40, you already know about age discrimination in the workplace. It may not have happened to you, yet. But friends, coworkers, parents. You’ve heard about it. Companies of all sizes look around and literally look for the oldest, most experienced staff to fire. Why? Well, they make the most money, for one. But they also have institutional knowledge which employers see as a threat.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT FILES SUIT FOR DISCRIMINATION, WRONGFUL TERMINATION
But as is so often the case, it’s easy for companies like Delta to make less senior staff jealous and threatened by these senior (literally) employees. And that seems to be what’s played out for Gomez Llanos. It was her junior coworkers who documented her supposed theft of a milk carton. It was her junior coworkers who documented her supposed theft of a mini bottle of Bailey’s in her coffee. You know, theft AND drinking on the job? So she’s filed a lawsuit in LA, claiming she was both “harassed and bullied” and that a smear campaign forced penalties and termination on her. But she was no small target by any means. She was the highest ranking Delta flight attendant. Jeez, she was the 5th ranked in the whole US!
But clearly, Delta doesn’t care about their image. They stand by their decision to fire their top flight attendant. Crappy air travel, that’s Delta. And even crappier labor management.