Bankruptcy Court To Decide On Voiding Contract Wednesday
More than 800 Delta
pilots and their families rallied in Atlanta Tuesday, uniting in
anger at the prospect their contracts with the airline might be
thrown out in bankruptcy court. The pilots threatening to strike...
and they say that's no bluff.
"This is not about revolution. It's about resolution," said
union executive committee chairman Lee Moak to the crowd, according
to the Associated Press. "We will take this company back. It will
be returned to its rightful owner -- the employees of Delta Air
The issue is to be decided before the courts Wednesday, as a US
Bankruptcy court judge will hear the airline's case for tossing
aside the existing contract in the interest of helping the carrier
emerge from Chapter 11.
Pilots have already given up almost 91-million dollars in
concessions to Delta, trying to keep the airline out of bankruptcy.
Those cuts are on top of a $1-billion give-back pilots agreed to in
a five-year contract finalized last year. Unfortunately, that
wasn't enough for the third-largest domestic carrier to fight off
bankruptcy. Delta filed for Chapter 11 September 14.
The airline is now
asking for another $325 million from pilots as part of its
One Delta spokesman said the company still hopes to negotiate a
deal with pilots, but warned restructuring won't be painless.
If pilots do go out on strike, will Delta go the way of
Northwest and train replacements? The Atlanta-based carrier says
that's not likely.
"If you look around the industry at the carriers in similar
situations, typically they've come to the table and reached a
consensual agreement," said Delta spokesman Dan Lewis. "We believe
the same thing will happen here. Cooler heads will prevail."
Delta has recorded losses of more than $11 billion since January
2001, and over that period has announced that it would cut up to
33,000 jobs. The carrier reported a Q3 loss of $1.13 billion last