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Old 09-23-2005, 10:21 AM   #1  
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Default Delta pilots dismayed over job cuts

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Atlanta Business Chronicle - 11:39 AM EDT Friday

Delta pilots 'dismayed' over job cuts

Delta Air Lines Inc. pilots released a statement today saying the bankrupt airline's job cuts plan will "impose a further massive burden" on them "without adequate attention to relief from other sources."

Bankrupt Delta (NYSE: DAL) said Sept. 22 it will eliminate 7,000 to 9,000 jobs (17 percent of its total workforce) by the end of 2007. Of those cuts, about 25 percent -- 1,750 to 2,250 jobs -- will come from metro Atlanta. It also will cut salaries across the board and expects to reap an annual savings of $325 million just from Delta pilots.

In November 2004, Delta pilots ratified a five-year wage contract that gave the airline $1 billion in annual cost savings through pay cuts, productivity gains and other work rule changes. The deal helped delay Delta's bankruptcy filing by nearly a year. Now, the pilots say Delta's new recovery plan places an unfair burden upon them.

The pilots also said Delta cannot successfully recover if the central focus of the recovery plan remains on pay and benefit cuts from the employees.

"Operational efficiencies and revenue enhancements must be a greater part of the plan," said Capt. John Malone, chairman of the Delta pilots' union. "The Delta pilots are well represented by elected representatives and a team of attorneys, financial advisors, and ALPA [Air Lines Pilots Association] professionals who will work doggedly to ensure that the restructuring of Delta is viable and the burden of its recovery is carried equitably. Everyone must step up to the plate. It's time for management to recognize the employees' enormous previous contributions and focus real attention on the company's suppliers, vendors and lessors, as well as efforts to enhance the revenue stream."
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