April 10, 2006
Delta Pilots Receive $10 Million Pledge from Union
ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Delta pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), moved one step closer to finalizing preparations for a strike. Today, the union received final approval for a $10 million grant from ALPA’s war chest, the Major Contingency Fund. This money will to be used to fund a strike if the Delta pilots’ contract is rejected.
The union made the $10 million request in February and ALPA’s Executive Board approved it on an expedited basis as the deadline for the decision on rejecting the Delta pilots’ contract nears. Additionally, upon approval of the grant the Strike Preparedness Committee has been renamed the Strike Committee in anticipation of an imminent strike. The full-scale efforts of the committee are now redirected from strike preparation to strike implementation. Delta MEC Chairman, Captain Lee Moak, reaffirmed, “The Delta pilots will strike if their contract is rejected, and Delta senior executives seem intent on rejection instead of negotiations. A strike grows more and more likely as our deadline looms without meaningful negotiations or results.”
Last week the Delta pilots’ union overwhelmingly voted for a strike and the union’s governing body, the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC) authorized the chairman to call for a strike at his sole discretion anytime after April 17. The union’s leadership also ordered the pilots to remove all personal and professional gear from their pilot bases throughout the country in case a strike is called.
Despite the movement towards a strike, Delta executives do have a choice: they could withdraw their 1113 motion to reject the pilots’ contract, begin meaningful negotiations and immediately begin to restore stability to the airline. Instead, they have continued to attack the pilots with overreaching demands, while having no plan to deal with the fallout from this course of action.
Since the adoption of Section 1113 legislation, no contract governed by the Railway Labor Act has been rejected through bankruptcy. All other bankruptcy petitioners successfully negotiated contracts and avoided the drastic and irreversible impact of rejection. The decision to reject the contract currently rests with a third-party neutral panel in accordance with the terms of Letter of Agreement 50, and their decision to either deny or grant the company’s motion is expected by April 15.
Founded in 1931, the Air Line Pilots Association ( ALPA) represents 62,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents approximately 6,000 active Delta Air Lines pilots and 500 furloughed Delta pilots. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org and the Delta pilots’ website at http://www.deltapilots.org/.
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CONTACT: Kelly Collins, 404-763-4925 . Please visit the Delta pilots’ website: www.deltapilots.org for more information.