Hundreds of Delta pilots this week will picket nationwide for better pay and scheduling more than two years after the Covid pandemic began.
“Delta pilots were front-line leaders during COVID and the recovery. We helped our airline recover by flying record amounts of overtime and spending more time away from our families than ever before to get our customers safely to their destinations. It’s time for management to recognize our contributions. If Delta can invest billions in foreign airlines and its subsidiaries, it must invest similarly in its pilots,” said Capt. Jason Ambrosi, Chairman of the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC), a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association.
The pilots are willing to go the long haul to get the contracts they want.
“Our goal is to achieve an industry-leading contract. But if management doesn’t get serious, we’ll go the distance to get the contract we deserve,” Ambrosi warned.
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The Washington Examiner reported:
The pilots are seeking to resume contract negotiations that were paused indefinitely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today is an important milestone for the Delta pilots,” Ambrosi explained. “It’s been two-and-a-half-years since our contract became amendable and three-and-a-half years since the Delta pilots last had a pay raise. Meanwhile, our quality of life has eroded due to management’s unwillingness to schedule the airline properly.”
In addition to higher pay and improved retirement protections, the pilots also want adjusted scheduling. The current schedules put the airline at risk, according to Ambrosi.
“The perfect storm is occurring. Demand is back and pilots are flying record amounts of overtime but are still seeing our customers being stranded and their holiday plans ruined. Unfortunately, these problems have not led to any greater urgency from management to resolve our issues at the negotiating table,” he said.
Flight cancellations and delays have caused a tremendous amount of stress for travelers.
Thousands of flights were cancelled over Memorial Day weekend and travelers are bracing for delays and cancellations as Fourth of July approaches.