Release #08.DAL-NWA
August 11, 2008

Delta and Northwest Pilots Ratify Tentative Agreement

ATLANTA, Ga. / Minneapolis, Minn. – The Delta and Northwest pilots, both represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today ratified the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA), the agreement reached between Delta Air Lines and the Delta and Northwest union leadership in June. The voting closed this afternoon with 82.17 percent of eligible Delta pilots casting a ballot. Of those, 61.74 percent voted “in favor” of the new agreement. The Northwest pilots ratified the same agreement with 80.87 percent of eligible Northwest pilots casting a ballot with 86.76 percent voting “in favor” of the agreement. With ratification by both pilot groups, the JCBA will become effective when the merger between Delta and Northwest closes which could occur before year’s end.

Delta MEC Chairman, Captain Lee Moak, stated, “The ratification of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement represents the culmination of many months of effort by everyone involved. This historic milestone marks the first time that a labor agreement has been reached in advance of the close of an airline merger. It is far superior to the traditional well-worn labor role in that all pilots will receive financial returns from day one for the value we provide to the merger. We look forward to participating in Delta’s future growth and success as our nation’s first truly global airline.”

Captain Dave Stevens, Northwest MEC Chairman, said “This momentous vote broke the traditional merger paradigm. Because the pilot groups of Northwest and Delta were willing to make an affirmative decision, we will have a joint contract that becomes effective on the date of corporate closing, a seniority list process that provides a method to achieve a fair and equitable list and two pilot groups that will be unified to face the challenges ahead.”

Captain Stevens said, “The pilots’ precedent setting contributions will allow the merged company to take advantage of all the efficiencies as soon as possible and begin marketing the first global airline to our customers and Wall Street.”

Both pilot groups will continue to focus on the process of integrating the seniority lists. In June, the two MECs signed a Seniority List Integration Process Agreement. This agreement allows the MECs to shape the procedural elements leading to seniority list integration. The agreement calls for negotiations and if necessary, a period of arbitration before a panel of three neutral arbitrators with a written decision to be issued no later than November 20, 2008. Captain Moak added, “We believe that the best seniority list solution is one that is resolved through negotiations—by pilots working with pilots. While we have confidence in the arbitration process, we will remain open to a negotiated solution of a fair and equitable single seniority list.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents approximately 7,000 active DAL pilots and 5,100 active NWA pilots. Visit the ALPA website at, the Delta pilots’ website at, and the NWA ALPA website at

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SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association
CONTACT: DAL ALPA, Kelly Regus, 404-763-4925 office
NWA ALPA, Doreen Clark, 952-567-0507 office