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Fri, Jul 04, 2008

NWA Pilots To Get 2.4 Percent Equity In Combined Airline

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.

FMI: www.newglobalairline.com, www.alpa.org

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