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Delta offers pilots 27% raise as contract impasse lingers

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Delta Air Lines Inc. offered its 13,000 pilots a raise of about 27 per cent over four years, significantly less than what the employees have proposed in contract talks that have lingered since the beginning of the year.

[ATLANTA] Delta Air Lines Inc. offered its 13,000 pilots a raise of about 27 per cent over four years, significantly less than what the employees have proposed in contract talks that have lingered since the beginning of the year.

The two sides have been deadlocked over pay and other issues since the contract became amendable on Dec 31. the carrier's offer was disclosed in a letter Sunday to pilots from John Malone, chairman of the Delta chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association.

The union is asking for a 37 per cent raise over three years, the letter says.

The union has taken an aggressive stance in negotiations with the Atlanta-based airline, saying that the carrier's profits justify the reversal of pay and benefits cuts adopted in the early 2000s. The pilots had voted down an agreement in July 2015 that would have provided an immediate 8 per cent raise and smaller boosts in future years.

"Delta is committed to reaching a timely new agreement that is market-based, sustainable, and that also ensures Delta pilots have an industry-leading package of pay, benefits and work rules," Morgan Durrant, a spokesman for the airline, said in an e-mail.

An ALPA spokeswoman didn't immediately return a call or e- mail on Monday.

The pilots and Delta began mediated talks under the supervision of the National Mediation Board on March 31. The agency suspended the talks for three weeks early this month, suggesting the NMB believed progress toward a deal had "stalled," Mr Malone wrote in an earlier letter to union members.

BLOOMBERG