Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Delta and Northwest pilots reach pre-merger agreement

Delta-NorthwestThe Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has announced that the pilots at Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines have reached a tentative agreement (TA) with Delta management on a joint pilot contract, necessary for a successful merger of the two carriers. ALPA represents both pilot groups.

In an ALPA press release, the union described the TA as "the first important step in the process of combining two pilot groups with long, proud histories, into the largest unified pilot group in the world." Details of the TA were not released at this time.

Delta Air Lines confirmed that a tentative agreement had been reached with the two pilot groups "on a joint contract to take effect upon closing of the Delta-Northwest merger, expected later this year." Delta CEO Richard Anderson said:
"We are pleased that the Delta and Northwest pilot groups have reached a tentative agreement and have outlined a process for seniority integration that will allow us to move forward with a unified pilot group. Achieving a joint contract and combined seniority list in advance of the closing of the merger is something that has never been done in this industry and is a testament to the leadership of ALPA and a working together culture."
The culmination of intensive negotiations, the TA now will be presented to the ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC) of each of the pilot groups to be considered for ratification. After review and ratification by each MEC, the agreement will need to be ratified by the membership of both pilot groups.

Delta says that the pilot groups also have established a separate process designed to establish a single pilot seniority list by the close of the merger.