Wednesday, January 10, 2001
Delta pilots' union authorizes strike ballot
Union leaders representing Delta's 9,500 pilots Tuesday authorized a strike ballot of the membership.
If the ballot is approved, no strike could occur until passage of 30 days after the parties are released from negotiations by the National Mediation Board, a federal agency that oversees collective bargaining in the airline industry.
The Air Line Pilots Association has been in contract negotiations with Delta Air Lines since September 1999; the Delta pilots' contract became amendable May 2, 2000. ALPA and Delta jointly requested the NMB's mediation services Nov. 17, and stipulated to a 90-day time line to complete negotiations or request a proffer of arbitration from the NMB.
Should either party decline the proffer, a 30-day countdown period would begin March 1, with a possible pilot strike as early as April 1.
"Authorizing a strike ballot is not a step the union leadership takes lightly," said Capt. Charles Giambusso, chairman of the Delta Master Executive Council, a unit of ALPA. "Our pilot negotiators continue to work hard to achieve a new agreement through mediation. However, as the clock continues to tick on our 90-day negotiating time line, it is time to ballot our membership so that we have their authorization to execute a strike should one become necessary."
The results of the ballot will be announced Feb. 12.