Delta Seeks 22 Percent Pay Cut for Pilots
ATLANTA (AP) _ Delta Air Lines wants to cut pilots’ hourly wages by 22 percent, rescind pay raises scheduled over the next year and reduce some benefits as it tries to counter heavy losses, union officials said Wednesday.
In an e-mail to members, union spokesman Mike Pinho said Delta management made the proposal on Tuesday.
In addition to the pilots’ pay cut, Delta also wants to reduce the company’s contribution to a savings plan for pilots from 3 percent to 2 percent, the memo said.
Also, Delta is proposing comprehensive negotiations focusing on work rules, benefits and further discussion on pay rates in the fall of 2004 or sooner, depending on the company’s financial condition.
Chief executive Leo F. Mullin said earlier this month that Delta will use deep salary concessions agreed to at American Airlines as the context for its own pilot talks.
Delta _ while in better financial shape than most of its major rivals _ has said its survival is not guaranteed amid the unprecedented plunge in industry revenues. The airline lost $466 million in the first quarter on top of $1.3 billion it lost last year.
Atlanta-based Delta, the nation’s third-largest carrier, has laid off 16,000 employees since the Sept. 11 attacks.
It has also furloughed more than 1,000 pilots and said earlier this month it would furlough an additional 200 pilots this year because of a drop-off in travel due to the war in Iraq. It also plans to reduce capacity by 10 percent and will retire the last 12 of its MD-11 long-range jumbo jets.
The pilots’ union, which represents 9,000 Delta pilots, said it will discuss the company’s wage proposal and the results of its own analysis of the carrier’s finances at a meeting May 5 in San Diego.
Their contract is not open for changes until 2005, but pilots said they may be open to an ``investment″ through reduced wages or benefits to help Delta’s financial state.
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