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Delta Pilots Stage Pickets at DTW and MSP

Delta Air Lines pilots are participating in informational picket lines at two of the carrier’s busiest hubs in order to draw attention to an ongoing contract dispute.

Delta Air Lines pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) took part in protests at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) and Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) on Thursday. The two former Northwest Airlines hubs are among Delta Airline’s largest pilot bases.

ALPA spokesperson Captain Mark Thompson told Detroit CBS Radio WWJ 950 that the simultaneous picket lines in two cities were staged to “inform the public that Delta management needs to get serious and put a good contract offer on the table.” He noted that the airline has declined to present any serious contract offers during recent negotiations.

“A decade ago, Delta pilots took a 50 percent pay cut in order to save the company in bankruptcy. Five zero — and we lost our pensions at that time frame, too,” Thompson said. “Since that time, management has rewarded themselves very richly, they’ve rewarded the investors richly, but they have not come and rewarded the employees that way, especially the pilots.”

For its part, the company declined to criticize the headline-grabbing protests that are designed to bring the flying public into the dispute. The airline insists that it is negotiating in good faith and expects that both sides will be able to reach an equitable agreement.

“Delta has made a comprehensive proposal for an agreement that contains an industry-leading package of pay, benefits and work rules,” company officials told reporters in a written statement. “We recognize the many contributions Delta pilots have made to the airline’s success and are hopeful that a conclusion to negotiations can be reached soon.”

[Photo: Delta Air Lines]

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