Today, the Delta Master Executive Council (MEC), represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), opened their strike center in Atlanta.
The strike center will serve as the hub of operations for organizing pilot participation during ongoing contract negotiations, and for strike activities in the event a strike becomes necessary.
“While we are fully committed and have dedicated all necessary resources to reach an agreement this summer, we are preparing for any eventuality allowed to us under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), including efforts from informational picketing to a legal strike,” said Captain John Malone, chairman of the Delta MEC.
Over six months have passed since the contract’s amendable date; sixteen months since negotiations began and the Delta pilots are still awaiting a new agreement. ALPA and Delta jointly filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board on March 31, 2016. Negotiations are continuing under the oversight of the National Mediation Board.
“All other stakeholders—management, the other employees, investors—have now been rewarded . . . except for the Delta pilots. It is time for Delta [management] to acknowledge our investments in the corporation, address the rising market for pilots, ensure Delta will continue to be able to attract the best of the best and take the necessary steps to recognize the Delta pilots as equal business partners as we move forward together to write the next chapter in Delta’s story,” stated Captain John Malone, MEC chairman, in a recent Chairman’s Letter.
The Atlanta strike center is fully staffed and operational. In addition, each Delta hub maintains local Strike Committee leadership. The Delta MEC’s request for five million dollars from ALPA to assist in funding strike and strike related efforts was recently granted.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 53,000 pilots at 31 U.S. and Canadian airlines.