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Delta Air Lines Inc. Message Board

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  • r91198 r91198 Sep 9, 1999 7:24 PM Flag


    Today's rise in Delta may be fleeting

    News in partnership with ...
    Atlanta-Journal Constitution � WSB-TV � AM750 WSB

    Delta, Pilots Union Open Talks

    (AP)--After seeing Delta Air Lines' profits surpass $1
    billion for
    two straight years, the carrier's pilots
    are lining up for a bigger slice of the

    Delta and its 9,200 pilots opened contract talks
    Wednesday by
    exchanging proposals six months before the
    current contract's
    ``amendable date'' of May 2000.
    Neither side disclosed specific salary
    wishes, which
    are expected to dominate the talks.

    To help
    push the nation's third-largest carrier back to
    profitability, pilots
    offered Delta substantial wage
    concessions during the last contract
    negotiations in 1996
    and are seeking to recoup them in the new contract.

    Atlanta-based Delta posted a record $1 billion
    profit in 1998 for the second
    straight year.

    The Delta contract talks come at a time of
    increased airline industry
    profitability--and labor

    Last year, Northwest pilots went on a
    15-day strike before reaching a
    contract with the
    airline. And American Airlines pilots staged an illegal
    action in February over the integration of Reno
    Airlines into the airline's
    operations, disrupting
    hundreds of thousands of flights.

    The talks won't
    be easy or short, said Julius Maldutis, an analyst
    CIBC Oppenheimer.

    ``After six
    consecutive years of profit, it's not surprising that
    (airline) labor
    in general has grown much more
    militant,'' said Maldutis, who predicted
    the Delta talks
    will lead to federal mediation. ``The pilots are
    saying, 'We
    want it back, plus some.' ''

    Capt. Chuck Giambusso, chairman of the Delta pilots'
    union, called the
    pilots' proposal ``ambitious, but

    ``We are committed to our company and to
    achieving a timely and
    superior agreement,'' he said at
    a news conference.

    Besides salary raises,
    the pilots are seeking better training pay,

    codification of rest rules, reduction in the amount of
    regional jet flying
    performed by Delta subsidiaries,
    growth in the number of pilot jobs and
    vacation and retirement benefits.

    The pilots also
    want a voting member on Delta's board of directors,
    of the nonvoting seat they now hold, and
    elimination of a lower pay scale
    for pilots who fly for
    Delta Express, Delta's low-cost unit based in

    Delta was pleased by the pilots'
    invitation to begin the negotiations early,
    spokesman John Kennedy said Wednesday. Under federal law,
    contracts do not expire, but have dates at which
    they can be altered.

    We recognize there are
    significant issues to address and are looking
    forward to
    working with ALPA on these,'' Kennedy said. ``We're happy
    it's started early.''

    Capt. Andy Deane,
    a 727 pilot and union spokesman, described the

    proposals as ``wish lists'' that will be studied by the
    opposing side for
    several weeks. Direct negotiations
    are scheduled to begin next month.

    AP-NY-09-09-99 0259EDT

37.68+0.53(+1.43%)Jul 22 4:00 PMEDT

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