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Fri, Dec 09, 2005

ALPA: Delta Pilots Authorize Strike Ballot

ANN Note: ALPA's Delta Airlines member pilots have just authorized a strike vote... a move that many feel will speed certain doom for the embattled airline.

Official ALPA Statement

On the eve of what may be the season’s first snowstorm, the Delta pilot union’s Master Executive Council convened to discuss the progress of hearings on Delta’s 1113(c) motion to reject the pilot contract.

The pilot leadership insists that if the contract is rejected or management starts imposing terms, the pilots have the right engage in self help up to and including a strike. Chairman Captain Lee Moak stated “The Delta pilot contract has served both parties well for six decades. We will not willingly work without a contract.”

According to the bankruptcy statute, if the court has not ruled on Delta’s request within 30 days of the commencement of hearings, management may impose the terms in its request. December 16th represents 30 days since the hearings commenced.

This afternoon the representatives of Delta’s pilots voted unanimously to ballot the pilot group to authorize a strike. The timing of that ballot was left to the discretion of the MEC Chairman.

One year ago the Delta pilots agreed to a 32.5% pay cut as part of a package of concessions valued at $5 billion over five years. If the contract is rejected, the Delta pilots will face having their pay reduced by 50%, their work rules gutted and pensions terminated within the last twelve months.

Chairman Moak stated, “Management’s draconian cuts have no relationship to their actual need. No other party has contributed as much to Delta’s recovery as the pilots. If management commences imposing their terms, we will have no choice but to defend ourselves.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 63,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. The Delta MEC represents 6500 pilots.

FMI: www.alpa.org

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