Delta Air Lines pilots will picket at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and across the country Thursday.
The Air Line Pilots Association union, which represents nearly 14,000 Delta pilots, announced plans for an informational picket, where hundreds of off-duty pilots will ask for increased pay, better retirement benefits and job protections.
In addition to MSP, pilots will also picket at airports in the Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Salt Lake City areas.
“Delta pilots were frontline leaders during COVID and the recovery,” said Capt. Jason Ambrosi, chair of the Delta ALPA Master Executive Council, in a statement.
“It’s time for management to recognize our contributions. If Delta can invest billions in foreign airlines and its subsidiaries, it must invest similarly in its pilots.”
According to ALPA, new pilot contracts were last signed in 2016. While negotiations were paused due to the pandemic, they began again in January.
The union also pointed to disruptions to pilot schedules due to flight delays and cancellations. According to ALPA, Delta canceled more flights than any other airline over Memorial Day weekend.
“When delays or cancellations happen, the pilots share in our passengers’ frustration. As long-term stakeholders in our airline, seeing our operational reliability suffer is bad business and puts the Delta brand at risk,” Ambrosi said.
This coming Fourth of July holiday weekend is expected to result in significant delays and further flight cancellations, with Kyle Potter of Thrifty Traveler reporting this week that "hundreds" of scheduled Delta flights over the next two weekends are yet to be assigned a pilot.