Release #: DAL 22.04
June 29, 2022
Delta Pilots to Protest Nationwide at Delta Hubs Thursday, June 30
ATLANTA, Ga.—Delta Air Lines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will conduct informational picketing at Delta hubs nationwide on Thursday, June 30, to protest protracted contract negotiations. The pilots last signed a new employment contract in 2016 and are currently flying under work rules and pay rates negotiated over six years ago. Hundreds of off-duty pilots are scheduled to attend informational pickets tomorrow at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA), and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).
“Delta pilots were frontline leaders during COVID and the recovery. We have 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, chair of the Delta ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC).
Contract negotiations were paused during the pandemic and resumed in January 2022 under the auspices of the National Mediation Board.
“This is an important milestone for the Delta pilots,” said Ambrosi. “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 seeking improvements in pay, retirement, and job protections, the union is also demanding changes to pilot schedules. In recent letters to Delta customers and the Delta Board of Directors, ALPA pointed out preventable management missteps that could have mitigated ongoing flight disruptions.
“When delays or cancellations happen, the pilots share in our passengers’ frustration. As long-term stakeholders in our airline, seeing our operational reliability suffer is bad business and puts the Delta brand at risk,” said Ambrosi.
In June, the Delta ALPA MEC took an unprecedented step in passing a vote of “no confidence” in the management teams of Delta’s Flight Operations, Crew Resources, and Flight Training & Standards departments because of the scheduling issues that continue to plague both customers and pilots. Delta cancelled more flights than any other major airline over the Memorial Day weekend.
“We’re now going into the Independence Day Holiday weekend and are concerned that our customers’ plans have already been disrupted once again,” added Ambrosi. “The perfect storm is occurring. Demand is back, and pilots are flying record amounts of overtime but we are still seeing management cancelling, leaving our customers stranded and their holiday plans ruined. Unfortunately, this mismanagement continues. And it extends to a complete lack of urgency to resolve our issues at the negotiating table.”
The MEC recently opened a Strike Center at its Atlanta office to begin preparing the Delta pilots for scenarios as permitted under the Railway Labor Act. “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,” said Ambrosi.
Delta’s 13,900 pilots are represented by ALPA. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 65,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org