Delta pilots picketing at Kennedy Airport, nationwide in contract push forward of July 4 vacation weekend

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) — Delta pilots are picketing at airports nationwide Thursday amid ongoing contract negotiations and simply forward of the busy July 4th vacation, together with at John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport in Queens.

The pilot are picketing at Delta hub airports, which additionally embody Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Worldwide Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Los Angeles Worldwide Airport, MinneapolisSaint Paul Worldwide Airport, Seattle-Tacoma Worldwide Airport and Salt Lake Metropolis Worldwide Airport.

Delta’s 13,900 pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Affiliation, Worldwide (ALPA), the world’s largest pilot union.

ALPA represents 65,000 pilots at 40 carriers within the U.S. and Canada.

Delta Air Strains mentioned in a press release that off-duty pilots are taking part within the pickets and mentioned it is not going to disrupt service.

“This informational train by a few of our off-duty pilots is not going to disrupt our operation for our clients,” the airline mentioned. “Earlier this yr, Delta, ALPA, and a consultant from the Nationwide Mediation Board restarted our mediated contract negotiations that had been paused for nearly two years as a result of pandemic. Our objective stays to proceed offering Delta pilots with an industry-leading total contract with the perfect compensation based mostly on pay, retirement, work guidelines, and revenue sharing. We’re additionally dedicated to creating positive the contract language helps our potential to run a world-class operation, keep a robust stability sheet, and spend money on our enterprise for our clients and staff alike.”

The motion comes forward of the vacation weekend wherein greater than 5 million are anticipated to fly or in any other case journey.

Negotiations throughout the {industry} have been placed on maintain due to the pandemic, and union teams at different massive airways are eyeing the current contract reached by United Airways staff as a possible information in their very own negotiations.

The ALPA permitted a contract that might enhance the pay of pilots at United by greater than 14% over the subsequent 18 months, probably clearing the best way for comparable wage hikes all through the {industry}.

The deal displays the leverage presently held by unions, with the {industry} dealing with a pilot scarcity that has resulted in cancellations worldwide and fewer flights.

United CEO Scott Kirby known as the deal an industry-leading contract that might assist each the union and the airline.

United, based mostly in Chicago, is the primary main U.S. airline to succeed in an settlement with its pilots.

Federal legislation creates a protracted and troublesome course of earlier than airline staff can legally go on strike, however pilots on the massive airways have picketed airports and different areas to strain administration into greater pay hikes.

Pilots have complained that thinly staffed airways are asking them to work too many flights, with extra pilots reporting fatigue.

The United contract, which the union valued at $1.3 billion over two years, could be retroactive to the beginning of 2022 and provides three pay raises totaling greater than 14.5% by the top of subsequent yr. The union mentioned it consists of higher extra time and premium pay, a brand new retirement plan, a brand new 8-week paid maternity go away profit and improved scheduling provisions.

(The Related Press contributed to this report)

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