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Old 04-14-2006, 06:51 AM   #1  
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Default Union: Delta, Pilots Reach Tentative Deal

By HARRY R. WEBER, AP Business Writer
49 minutes ago

ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines Inc. and its pilots union reached a tentative agreement Friday on pay and benefit cuts that could avert a strike at the nation's third largest carrier and ease uncertainty among travelers over the busy Easter weekend.

No details of the agreement were released. The deal would be subject to ratification by the airline's 5,930 pilots.

The pilots union had threatened to strike if its contract was thrown out. Delta, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection since September, has said in court papers that a pilot strike would put it out of business.

An arbitration panel had until Saturday to reach a decision on Delta's request to throw out its pilot contract so it could impose up to $325 million in annual pay and benefit cuts. That decision is now on hold with the tentative agreement, but it could resurface if the rank-and-file pilots reject the agreement.

"I'm very pleased the parties have reached a tentative agreement," the panel chairman, Richard Bloch, told The Associated Press.

He declined to comment further, referring questions to the parties.

In a statement, Delta said the deal also is subject to bankruptcy court approval, but the airline believes passengers can book with confidence.

"We have worked hard together as a team to forge an agreement that is good for Delta and all of its constituents," said Delta's chief financial officer, Ed Bastian.

The pilot strike threat had unnerved Delta passengers, some of whom scrambled to make alternate travel plans over the busy Easter weekend. The threat also hurt bookings on the Atlanta-based airline.

Delta's mainline carrier operates 1,722 daily flights and had more than 118 million passengers last year.

In his memo to pilots, the chairman of the union's executive committee, Lee Moak, said the deal was reached early Friday morning. He said union leaders will meet in the next week to discuss the deal and determine whether to recommend it to the membership.

"We will not hurry," Moak said. "We will proceed in an unrushed, methodical manner."

Delta's pilots previously agreed to $1 billion in annual concessions, including a 32.5 percent wage cut, in a five-year deal in 2004. But Delta, which has imposed pay cuts on other employees, said it needs more from its pilots.

The company says the average earnings of pilots last year who worked the full year was more than $157,000. But the pilots union has said the figure was inflated by overtime and they have projected a significant decrease in average pilot earnings for 2006.

The negotiations between the company and the union picked up steam on Tuesday, when negotiators for both sides intensified talks at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York. Those talks continued through the night Thursday.

Delta pilot Keith Rosenkranz, who has been with the company 15 years and generally flies international routes to Europe and South America, said he's not sure how he will vote on the deal. He said he needs to see the details first.

"I was a little worried last night that my last landing in Rome was the last of my career," said Rosenkranz, who lives in Grapevine, Texas.

He said he's glad at least there is some sort of resolution, though union member ratification is still an unanswered question.

"I think the Delta pilots have always been willing to help the company in a time of need," Rosenkranz said. "We've proven that repeatedly over the years. But there does come a point when you have to stand up for your profession and the things that you negotiated in good faith, and if the company is not willing to recognize that then I'm not going to vote for something that continues to take."
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Old 04-14-2006, 04:42 PM   #2  
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Default let's see the deal details

Wonderful, now let's see what remains of your contract. The posturing was good, but did your leadership still give away the store? Good luck fella's.
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:53 PM   #3  
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How low can we go?

Sadly, I expect the Delta deal will indeed result in a further significant reduction in pilot compensation -- and this deal will simply be another step in a steady procession of reduced compensation for pilots throughout the industry. I don't know how low we can go. Probably each pilot has his/her individual answer to that question.

I wouldn't be surprised if professional commercial flying for the airlines develops into something that mainly young, single people do for, say, ten years or so -- during that time they wouldn't make much, but they'd do a lot of flying and have fun. But once pilots had children and "settled down," many would opt for a second career doing something else, simply because they could make more money that way.

What's driving this? The cheap ticket. It's transforming/wrecking our industry.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:22 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaber
How low can we go?

Sadly, I expect the Delta deal will indeed result in a further significant reduction in pilot compensation -- and this deal will simply be another step in a steady procession of reduced compensation for pilots throughout the industry. I don't know how low we can go. Probably each pilot has his/her individual answer to that question.

I wouldn't be surprised if professional commercial flying for the airlines develops into something that mainly young, single people do for, say, ten years or so -- during that time they wouldn't make much, but they'd do a lot of flying and have fun. But once pilots had children and "settled down," many would opt for a second career doing something else, simply because they could make more money that way.

What's driving this? The cheap ticket. It's transforming/wrecking our industry.
I agree that this TA doesn't bode well for the future in regards to pilots wages, but I've got a different take on the
"what's driving this" question. I believe that three main forces are driving the bus on pilot wages/airline devolution. First, the overall economy, while showing good according to the statistics, affords the average middle class guy every lessening buying power. Second, the government is allowing bankruptcy courts to dictate business instead of market forces, and finally: Third, the high fare carriers have not found a way to differentiate their product from a seat offered by a LCC. Take AA's "We know why you fly" ad campaign. It costs them money to run, but it does absolutely nothing to show a potential customer why he is better off flying AA. The next time that customer needs a ticket, they might remember AA, but will they understand why AA is a better choice? Apparently not. I don't really blame the consumer, the legacy carriers just don't give them any reason to buy.

skybolt

PS, let me add another reason. Airline managers who have no clue about being in the passenger service business. Airlines are now being run by people who make money by manipulating money, instead of being run by managers who know how to make money by running an airline.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:24 AM   #5  
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Great another ALPA cave-in.... The top 10% screws the other 90% and the rest of the profession. Now every ALPA carrier can expect to get consessions without fear of a strike because ALPA leadership has shown their cards!!! I guess ALPA will have to raise dues to make up the difference once another pay cut is announced, you know ALPA leadership won't take a paycut from ALPA
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:07 AM   #6  
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I nominate this post for the Most Ignorant Post award.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly4Beer

Great another ALPA cave-in.... The top 10% screws the other 90% and the rest of the profession. Now every ALPA carrier can expect to get consessions without fear of a strike because ALPA leadership has shown their cards!!! I guess ALPA will have to raise dues to make up the difference once another pay cut is announced, you know ALPA leadership won't take a paycut from ALPA
Mind you, no details of the TA have been released, but let's not let that get in the way of an anti-ALPA rant.



I don't know, maybe I've jumped the gun, and this belongs in a different category. Is there a category for Biggest Idiot Poster?











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Old 04-15-2006, 09:19 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly4Beer
Great another ALPA cave-in.... The top 10% screws the other 90% and the rest of the profession. Now every ALPA carrier can expect to get consessions without fear of a strike because ALPA leadership has shown their cards!!! I guess ALPA will have to raise dues to make up the difference once another pay cut is announced, you know ALPA leadership won't take a paycut from ALPA
Fairly ignorant statement Im afraid. You have very little understanding of how negotiations and leverage work. ALPA may have to raise dues but the leadership pay will not be a deciding factor.

A fundamental change is needed in the industry. There is no reason SW pilots should be getting 70K more per year than the rest of us. The public has spoken. The industry has a working model is SW. They are the pricing leader. As far as I'm concerned Alaska and other airlines can copy SW entirely. If they still can't make money, well talk pay cuts. Until then, I don't want to get paid less because our managers want to offer first class or assigned seats or baggage transfer or oxygen for old folks or pet transport.....The public is not interested.

In May Alaska pilots start negotiations for a contract that become amendable May '07. I look for pay restoration as a minimum. Some of our FO's will need a 51% raise to return to pre kasher (arbitrator) decision. It is a high mountain to climb. It can be done as long as SW does not take a pay cut. (They won't)
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Old 04-15-2006, 09:52 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Until then, I don't want to get paid less because our managers want to offer first class or assigned seats or baggage transfer or oxygen for old folks or pet transport.....The public is not interested.
The public is VERY interested in First Class, Assigned Seats, Baggage Transfer, Oxygen for old folks, and Pet Transport.

It is the mismanagement of American carriers that are crippling the industry. Look to the EU carriers that offer differing classes of service, etc. They are competing with the LCCs and doing well.
 
Old 04-15-2006, 10:21 AM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrenaye
The public is VERY interested in First Class, Assigned Seats, Baggage Transfer, Oxygen for old folks, and Pet Transport.

It is the mismanagement of American carriers that are crippling the industry. Look to the EU carriers that offer differing classes of service, etc. They are competing with the LCCs and doing well.
You'd think the public is interested, they just don't want to pay for it.
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Old 04-15-2006, 10:37 AM   #10  
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Default More will be revealed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly4Beer
Great another ALPA cave-in....
It remains to be seen who caved in. Management had stated that the $305 million demand and several other items were not negotiable. I'll bet they negotiated and compromised, as DALPA insisted they do.

Quote:
The top 10% screws the other 90% and the rest of the profession.
Some think that it's the bottom 10% who are dragging wages down.

Quote:
Now every ALPA carrier can expect to get consessions without fear of a strike because ALPA leadership has shown their cards!!!
ALPA leadership had nothing to do with the TA, only DALPA did. Your MEC can play its own cards. By the way, how are THEY doing?

Quote:
I guess ALPA will have to raise dues to make up the difference once another pay cut is announced, you know ALPA leadership won't take a paycut from ALPA
ALPA dues are a tiny fraction of the pay cut that pilots would take if there were no union, and management could set wages and working conditions by fiat. Better re-read "Flying the Line", by George Hopkins.
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