Fri, Jul 04, 2008
Rank-And-File Still Must Vote On New, Single Contract
It's looking like pilots for Delta
and Northwest Airlines will come through the merger of the two
carriers without the ugly civil war that marked the merger of US
Airways three years ago.
The Associated Press reports negotiators for the two pilot
groups, both represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, have
signed off on contracts which will give 7,000 Delta pilots a
combined 3.5 percent stake in the new company, and 5,000 Northwest
pilots about 2.4 per cent. The shares per-pilot work out to be the
same for both groups.
More importantly, Northwest pilots have agreed to raises
totalling 18 percent over four years, bringing their pay in line
with current salaries of their colleagues at Delta, and the two
pilot groups have agreed to accept binding arbitration to settle
any seniority rank issues which remain when the merger is approved
by regulators and shareholders.
In the takeover of US Airways by America West, a bitter feud
over seniority rankings led pilots remaining from the old US
Airways to reject an arbitrated settlement, split with the ALPA,
and form their own, new union to fight what they felt was a
settlement which favored pilots coming into the merger from the
America West side. Seniority determines who bids first for aircraft
types, routes, and vacation scheduling.
Delta hopes to complete the stock-swap acquisition of Northwest
by the end of the year.
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