Delta Pilots OK $280M Concessions Deal

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The New York Sun

ATLANTA (AP) – Delta Air Lines Inc. pilots approved Wednesday an agreement with the bankrupt carrier that calls for $280 million in annual concessions, including an initial 14 percent pay cut, the union said.

The vote by the Atlanta-based airline’s rank-and-file pilots was 61 percent in favor, the union said in a memo to pilots.

The agreement, which runs through 2009, would take effect Thursday, assuming a bankruptcy court judge also approves the deal at a hearing later Wednesday in White Plains, N.Y. The government’s pension insurer has objected, insisting that a $650 million note and $2.1 billion unsecured claim that Delta has promised the pilots should belong to the agency if the pilots’ pension is terminated as expected.

If the concessions deal does not get final approval by the court, it could spell trouble for the nation’s third-largest carrier. That’s because an arbitration panel would again consider the company’s request to reject its pilot contract so it could unilaterally impose the cuts it wants. The pilots have promised to strike if their contract is rejected. A strike would doom Delta.

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