Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Delta's Duplicity

Stephanie Dunlap reports on Delta Airline's conflicting benefits polices. Comair does not offer any domestic partnership benefits to homosexuals and does not have anti-homosexual discrimination protections. Comair's parent company, Delta, does have those benefits.
Comair is wholly owned by Delta, which goes above and beyond to demonstrate its commitment to diversity. Delta and its only other wholly owned subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), both offer domestic partner benefits and an anti-discrimination policy, as do most other "mainline" airlines and their wholly owned connection carriers, Stark says.
It is a very bizarre policy to have a different benefit plan for a wholly owned subsidiary. It is ultimately more work to administer, but likely Comair's benefits are not as good and therefore Delta would have to pay more money to bring them into the main plan. That plan merger would allow for bigger bargaining power with the larger volume of participants, but would it outweigh the increase costs of better coverage? I don't think the company is purposely out to stick it to homosexuals in the benefits arena, but I really wonder why they don't have an anti-homosexual discrimination policy? Who at the Delta HQ wants to screw with more lawsuits?

My only concern is that there is still some reliance on the old Kentucky network of social conservatism. Kentucky is not what I would call Gay friendly, and most of Comair workers are based there. Delta should have made its division comply with corporate policy a long time ago, it should get on the ball and bring them into line with a common policy in all major corporations.

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