Will Delta pilots go on strike anytime soon? What does the union Chairman’s Letter tell us?

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delta alph letter from the chaiman 20march16

Letter from the Delta union Charmian

Tomorrow is a big day for Delta pilots as they ask for federal mediation to help get a contract with Delta Air Lines. The press is pushing that they are asking for a 40% raise but that sound bite does not take into account much that has been lost during the lean years like the pay cuts they took as well as lost pension and more.

But this begs the question, how long will it be before we see Delta pilots picketing outside Delta hubs? I bet we will see it sooner than later. Does that mean a pilot strike is far behind? Notice what the Delta MEC Chairman said recently:

“…Last week your MEC confirmed the chairman of our Strike Preparedness Committee, Captain Mark McClain, assisted by Captain Mark Thompson. The MEC also passed an enabling resolution to request a five million dollar allocation from ALPA’s Major Contingency Fund. They have a lot of work to do, and will need volunteers! The Strike Preparedness Committee is the one committee of which we are all a part – only our individual roles vary. Regardless of your time at Delta, start saving and building your family’s strike fund.” – Delta pilots Chairman’s Letter 20MARCH16

In other words, we are FAR from seeing any kind of strike action if ever. There are so many things that would have to fall in line for this to happen not to mention that the government may not even let them strike.

What I could see happening are things like work slow downs and more impacting us much sooner than any kind of strike. To me that would upset Delta more than anything as Delta touts their on-time performance more than anything.

I will say openly that I stand behind the fine men and women who fly Delta jets. I personally feel Delta has been as harsh to them as they have been to SkyMiles and Medallion members. I hope the pilots stick to what they are due and I will not say one harsh word if my travel is impacted by actions taken by pilots to get what they are due. I just wish we as flyers could stand up the same way but with only 3 real airline choices remaining it is hard to “all” switch to another airline and vote with our wallets.

I personally make it a point to tell Delta pilots each time I fly that as a Delta Diamond I support them and thank them for what they do for Delta (and have done for that matter).

What do you think about the current situation with the pilots. Do you think it will come to a strike one day? Do you agree with Delta or the pilots on the contract? Who would you blame if your travel is impacted due to stuck negotiations? – René



  1. Well — we see how loyal Delta is to the people paying the bills (read: us). Can you imagine how much they can’t wait to truly shank those costing them money? (read: employees)

    Record profits, plans to ditch a brand-new bazillion dollar LAX T5 just to demolish and rebuild T2 & T3 for themselves (because Delta is growing so fast there!) and Richie Rich Anderson proudly cooing at the beginning of every safety video “Delta people are the best at what they do!” These are just a few examples exhibiting that Delta clearly has ways and means (they own their own fuel refinery for gosh sakes) to pay for the people who are the best at what they do.

    If it comes to a strike — and I don’t think it will — blame should fall on Delta.

  2. Rene is great at reminding us to compliment/thank the crews – pilots & FAs alike. I always send props to @deltaassist when anyone goes the extra mile – they seem pretty good at getting that into their files quic

  3. @Chris C, with regard to LAX the modernization of T5 did not cost a bazillion but a few hundred millions. And as I understand it, the bill was not paid (entirely) by Delta, but by the airport. Though I might be wrong here.
    Other than that I have nothing to disagree with you 😉
    It’s right, if one only hears about a demanded 40% raise, this sounds unreasonable. So thanks, Rene, for reminding us of the not too distant past when pilots and other employees took deep cuts in order to save Delta.

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