(Adds Delta and union comments, timeline, background)
Sept 30 Delta Air Lines Inc and its
pilots union have reached an agreement in principle for a new
contract that has been more than a year in the making, the
parties said on Friday.
The deal, reached with the help of U.S. federal mediators,
requires the approval of union leaders before it can become a
so-called "tentative agreement," which pilots can vote to ratify
or reject. About 65 percent of voting pilots turned down the
last tentative agreement in July 2015.
Delta did not immediately return a request for comment on
the terms of the agreement. But in a statement, it called it an
"industry-leading package of pay, benefits and work rules."
The last tentative agreement offered an 8 percent pay hike
upon signing. However, opponents said the gains were slight
considering Delta's growing profits and that higher wages came
at the expense of more-lucrative profit-sharing. Changes in sick
leave and other work rules also offset the gains, the critics
Following the rejection, the leader of Delta's unit of the
Air Line Pilots Association, International resigned. The parties
did not come to terms by the old contract's target date for
revision of Dec. 31, 2015.
In a statement, the union's Chairman John Malone said the
Friday's agreement "achieves the goal of advancing the
profession... (and) recognizes and rewards the Delta pilot group
for the daily contributions we make to Delta's financial
The union said it has seven days to review the agreement
before deciding whether to put it up for a pilot-wide vote.
(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in New York; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)