Delta Air Lines asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Wednesday to void its contract with Delta's pilots union so the beleaguered airline...
NEW YORK — Delta Air Lines asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Wednesday to void its contract with Delta’s pilots union so the beleaguered airline can impose deep wage and benefit cuts and avoid further financial erosion.
In a hearing that lasted into early evening and was to continue today, Delta attorney Jack Gallagher said the airline valued its pilots and tried to negotiate reductions, but ultimately failed.
Faced with rising fuel costs, Delta is seeking to slash $325 million from its collective-bargaining agreement with its pilots, saying the money is needed to keep its operations running. The union, which has offered $90.7 million in concessions, has threatened to strike if the court grants Delta’s request.
With several uniformed Delta pilots looking on in the standing room-only courtroom, union attorney Bruce Simon said the pilots union attempted to come to an agreement on further cuts, including an offer of short-term cuts with the possibility of deeper cuts under binding arbitration, but he said the pilots were rebuffed. He also noted the union agreed to $1 billion in concessions last year, and had given back enough.
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U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Prudence Carter Beatty actively questioned both attorneys, but singled out Delta for attempting to draw comparisons to other airline bankruptcies, which she said were useless in considering Delta’s case.
Associated Press reporter Aleksandrs Rozens contributed to this report.