With tens of millions of dollars in dues on the line, two Northwest Airlines unions are delaying elections on integrating workforces with the new Delta Air Lines, and that, in turn, is delaying some of Delta's hoped-for cost savings. Unionized workers at Northwest form a minority at the merged airline, giving unions little incentive to call for quick elections. Wary of alienating its new flight attendants and machinists inherited from Northwest, Delta thus far has resisted legal maneuvers to force an election. "Delta respects its employees' right to decide if union representation is right for them and we strongly believe the Northwest unions should also respect that choice -- a choice most Northwest employees have never had the opportunity to make," the airline said in a statement shortly after the merger announcement was made.

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