Delta pilots picket outside MSP over next contract

Nearly 200 members of Delta Air Lines´ pilot union have picketed outside Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport´s in an attempt to heighten the sense of urgency in securing a new contract with the company´s management, the company said.

The off-duty pilots carried signs emblazoned with one of their key arguments, “Investment grade airline, investment grade pilots.” The MSP event was one of eight peaceful pickets held at Delta´s largest US hubs.

Delta´s pilots, represented by Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), are asking for 40 percent compounded raises over the next three years. With the Atlanta-based carrier enjoying record profits in recent years, the pilots also don´t want to give up their current level of profit-sharing, something management has suggested trimming in the past.

The pilots´ existing contract became amendable at the end of December. A tentative agreement was reached last year between company and the union´s previous leadership, but the pilots voted to reject that proposal over perceived concessions to several of their benefits. The two sides have been meeting with the US National Mediation Board since March 2016.

Approximately 1,200 of Delta´s 12,000 pilots are based at the airline´s Minneapolis-St. Paul hub. Delta employs about 9,700 people in the Twin Cities.