The pilots union at Delta Air Lines picketed outside the company’s annual shareholder meeting in New York Friday, aiming to coax management toward a new contract.
Leaders from the union, represented by Air Line Pilots Association International, called the picket “informational” and said their goal was to “raise the sense of urgency in concluding the ongoing negotiations.”
The pilots are asking for a 40 percent compounded raise over the next three years while keeping their current level of profit-sharing.
Delta management and the union have been meeting with the U.S. National Mediation Board since March. The existing contract became amendable at the end of 2015 and both sides say they are committed to a new contract.
“It is time for the Delta board of directors to acknowledge our investments in the corporation, address the rising market for pilots, ensure Delta will continue to be able to attract the best of the best and take the necessary steps to recognize the Delta pilots as equal business partners,” Capt. John Malone, chairman of the union’s Master Executive Council, said in a statement.
Delta contends that the pilots already lead the industry in pay and that its management is trying to find an agreement that it can sustain through both good and bad economic conditions. In a statement, the company said: “Delta agrees that a tentative agreement can be reached this summer. Delta remains committed to reaching an industry-leading deal that is also sustainable and market-based. We believe that our pilots are the best in the industry and should continue to be the best paid.”
About 1,200 of Delta’s 12,000 pilots are based at the airline’s Minneapolis-St. Paul hub. Delta employs about 9,700 people in the Twin Cities.