Delta baggage handler files suit over retaliatory firing

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (PAI) – Kip Hedges, the baggage handler whom anti-union  Delta Airlines fired for remarks he made in a Workday Minnesota video in support of low-wage airport workers, has filed suit to challenge his termination.

Hedges sued on May 28 in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. It alleges Delta violated the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining in airlines and other transportation, by firing Hedges in December for remarks he made at a rally outside of work hours.

Hedges has been active in trying to organize a union among ground workers at Delta and in 15Now, a movement to raise wages among airport workers to $15 an hour.  In the video, Hedges states, “A lot of the Delta workers make under $15 an hour. As a matter of fact, I would say probably close to half make under $15 an hour. So there’s a lot of them that understand how important this is. And a lot of the, the better paid workers also understand that the bottom has to be raised otherwise the top is going to fall as well.”

Hedges worked at Delta for 26 years. He alleges it fired him for his activism. He seeks compensation for lost wages and benefits and punitive damages of more than $75,000.

Photo: Kip Hedges.  |  Video snapshot via Workday Minnesota


Barb Kucera
Barb Kucera

Barb Kucera was editor of Workday Minnesota. She served for 6 years as director of the Labor Education Service, which publishes Workday. Kucera has degrees in journalism and industrial relations and a background in communications, including as editor of The Union Advocate. She is an associate member of the Minnesota Newspaper and Communications Guild/CWA Local 37002.