NWA pilot union leaders favor contract with Delta

Pilots opposed to deal
Northwest pilot union chairman Dave Stevens. Union leaders have recommended their pilots approve a contract offer from Delta, which hopes to acquire Northwest.
MPR Photo/Tim Nelson

Delta is hoping to acquire Eagan-based Northwest. Hoping to smooth the merger of the two airlines, Delta is offering a common contract to the some 12,000 pilots flying for Northwest and Delta.

The deal includes pay raises and stock for both pilot groups. Northwest pilots would apparently get bigger raises, giving them pay equity with Delta pilots.

But the deal does not settle questions about integrating seniority lists for the pilots. The pilots will try to negotiate a process to combine seniority lists.

If they can't, the issue would be resolved through binding arbitration. Pilots value their seniority, because it determines their schedules, the aircraft they fly, and layoff protection.

The union didn't release financial details of the proposed contract. Dates for a ratification vote have yet to be set.

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