Talk of Strike Heats Up at Another Major Airline

Published: 07-14-2016
The latest action taken by the pilots at Delta will place pressure on the airline.

In late May, pilots from Hawaiian Airlines gathered and threatened to strike if contract negotiations continued to stall.

Just over a month later, pilots from Delta Air Lines have shared the same sentiment by opening up a strike center in Atlanta.

The ALPA, which represents the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC), announced that “the strike center will serve as the hub of operations for organizing pilot participation during ongoing contract negotiations, and for strike activities in the event a strike becomes necessary.”

Although a strike has not been planned, this move ultimately places pressure on Delta to make progress on negotiating a favorable contract; progress has been lacking since talks began in early 2015, and the contract's amendable date was over six months ago.

Movement by the union comes at a time when Delta is reporting “higher-than-expected” profit; earnings from the second quarter rose 4 percent from 2015’s second quarter.

“All other stakeholders—management, the other employees, investors—have now been rewarded...except for the Delta pilots. It is time for Delta to acknowledge our investments in the corporation, address the rising market for pilots, ensure Delta will continue to be able to attract the best of the best and take the necessary steps to recognize the Delta pilots as equal business partners as we move forward together to write the next chapter in Delta’s story,” stated Captain John Malone, MEC chairman, in the Chairman’s Letter.

Delta pilots are seeking a 40 percent compounded pay increase over a three-year period, while keeping the current profit sharing plan in place.

"We gave up 42 percent of our pay before bankruptcy and another 8 percent in bankruptcy," said Mike Dunn, a Delta pilot. "We lost vacation time. And we lost our defined benefit...After 12 years, we have yet to see a significant increase in pay.”

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