Delta Airlines’ Pilots Fight For Share Of Company’s Success

Delta pilots picket outside Salt Lake International Airport. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Steve Milner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 24, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Ninety pilots with Delta stood together in Salt Lake City at the airport terminals to send a message to the airline that they deserve to be a part of the company’s success.

Mike Dunn, a 737 captain for Delta and a representative for the Airlines Pilot Association, said the message they are trying to send to the airline is they are making record profits and it’s time for the pilots be a part of their success.

“Delta pilots gave a ton in the months prior to and during bankruptcy in 2004 and 2005,” Dunn said.

“We gave up 50 percent of our income and all of our retirement. Now Delta Airlines is the most profitable airline in the world and other peer pilots from airlines that are not as successful have compensation package that exceed ours.”

Delta has been in contract negotiations with pilots for about a year and Dunn said they are six months past the due date to make a decision.

Six other Delta hubs besides Salt Lake City had pilots silently picketing. Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, LaGuardia in New York, Seattle and Cincinnati.

“These are all Delta pilots on their days off trying to share information through picketing,” Dunn said.

“This is not a strike and we do not anticipate a strike and we certainly do not want a strike.”

The pilots are mainly Salt Lake County residents and Dunn said they want the public, fellow employees and management to know they are united behind a contract and now feel Delta Airlines should fairly share their success.

“Delta made $6 billion in 2015 and they are on track to make $10 billion in 2016,” Dunn said.

“I have been with Delta 24 years and don’t have anywhere to go. We are tied, married and stake holders in Delta Airlines. We want to retire here. But we want the company to recognize our sacrifices and our contributions. So far they have failed to do that.”

Dunn said they are all fairly optimistic but they were told a deal would come during summer, and now it is summer and no deal is in place.

“We will continue to fly,” Dunn said. “And on our days off we will be here picketing until something is done.”


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