Fellow Delta Pilots,
Last night, as we slipped past 2359 into today, an essential milestone in our contract fell behind us – our amendable date. Today, as our Pilot Working Agreement (PWA) officially becomes amendable, we are without a new agreement with the Company despite nine months of negotiations. We entered these talks in April 2019 with clear direction from you to achieve improvements in pay, retirement and insurance, quality of life issues and scope. Management has received our full ask; it’s past time for the Company to get serious at the table.
Let’s be clear on where we stand: We’re negotiating our next contract in the most favorable conditions in history. We are not looking for a fast deal – we’re looking for the right contract. The Company has issues that we are open to addressing – we’re long-term stakeholders, and we want Delta to run a smart operation and business, but these issues will be solved at a premium. Similarly, the items we are seeking are reasonable and justified. Management states it is committed to a strong contract with meaningful improvements and the best total compensation package. Still, these statements are full of caveats – including the need for Delta to be able to “compete globally.”
Additionally, management has not offered the stated value to date. So far, the Company has agreed to only less than a 1% increase in additional annual costs toward the value of a new PWA. Delta, a darling of Wall Street, is planning to generate $4 billion a year in free cash flow. Therefore, not only am I confident in Delta’s ability to afford the industry-leading contract that we seek, but I am also dismayed at the lack of value agreed to over the last nine months of negotiating.
We hear all the time that we, the Delta pilots, are the Delta Difference and that our engagement with customers moves the needle on Net Promoter Scores (NPS). A recent QCQ module explained the importance of creating “raving fans” and the integral role that we, as Delta pilots, play. The fact is we are “the most iconic element” of Delta’s brand. We help create the revenue premium that Delta enjoys – and we do it every day and on every flight. Our unrelenting focus on safety, operational reliability and customer service put Delta at the top of the industry. While it’s nice to hear these platitudes from leaders company-wide, we need to see this sentiment reflected in meaningful proposals at the negotiating table.
So, with the amendable date in the rearview mirror, here’s what you can expect from us:
Here’s what we need from you.
While we have passed a significant milestone, the resolve of the MEC has only strengthened. We will reach a deal when it is the right deal as defined by you, the Delta Pilots. Under the Railway Labor Act, both sides must maintain the status quo until we reach a deal. We will not rush to get a quick agreement just for the sake of getting an agreement.
Capt. Ryan Schnitzler, Chairman
Delta Master Executive Council