In two separate moves, Delta Air Lines ALPA pilots overwhelmingly voted to authorize a future strike over their contract, while the United Airlines pilots organized by the union voted down a tentative contract agreement.
Delta Pilots Prepare to Strike Over Stalled Contract Negotiations
The ALPA announced the results of the Detla strike vote on Monday, October 31, 2022. The union states among the 96% of members participating, 99% voted to authorize a strike to obtain a new contract.
According to ALPA, negotiations for a new contract began in April 2019, with the goal of completing by the targeted amendable date in December 2019. After no deal was reached, both sides entered mediation, just to be interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mediation restarted by January 2022 – but there is no new contract agreement.
“Delta has rebounded from the pandemic and is poised to be stronger than ever, posting record revenues for the third quarter,” Capt. Jason Ambrosi, chair of the Delta Master Executive Council, said in a statement. “Meanwhile, our negotiations have dragged on for too long. Our goal is to reach an agreement, not to strike. The ball is in management’s court. It’s time for the Company to get serious at the bargaining table and invest in the Delta pilots.”
Although the unionized workers have authorized a strike, pilots cannot immediately walk off the job. Instead, the National Mediation Board must rule that additional mediation efforts will not result in a new contract and offer both sides arbitration. If both sides decline, a strike can begin after a 30-day “cooling off” period. The National Mediation Board has not yet made a decision on future mediation.
Delta has not publicly commented on the union’s vote. Instead, the carrier announced their most recent award: Best North American Airline from Business Traveller UK.
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United Pilots Kill Tentative Contract
Meanwhile at United, pilots there are unhappy with a proposed contract from their leadership. Of the 9,980 pilots voting on the tentative agreement, 94% voted against accepting the contract.
Union leadership claims that the tentative agreement offered by the Chicago-based carrier “fell short of the industry-leading contract United pilots have earned and deserve after leading the airline through the pandemic and back to profitability.” The press release did not elaborate on which areas the agreement did not meet their expectations.
With the rejection, both sides will return to negotiations to complete a future contract. The ALPA says they will begin “informational picketing events” to finalize an agreement.
The move comes weeks after United announced a third quarter 2022 net income of $942 million on total operating revenue of $12.9 billion, despite total capacity being down 9.8% compared to the same period in 2019. Leaders for the company have not commented on the ALPA’s vote.
Source: frugal travel guy