Delta issued a statement saying its pilots are not on strike, “so this authorization vote will not affect our operation for our customers.”
Ambrosi told pilots in a memo Friday that the proposal from management “does not even come close to alleviating the impact of inflation on pilot purchasing power over the thousand-plus days since the amendable date nor does it recognize the extraordinary efforts of the Delta pilots over the last several years.”
The union declined to give specifics on the proposal from management, citing National Mediation Board protocol preventing both sides from discussing details related to pay or compensation proposals until there is a tentative agreement.
“This is a common NMB practice during the end-game of most mediated negotiations,” Ambrosi wrote. The National Mediation Board is handling mediation in the Delta pilots’ contract talks.
Ambrosi in his memo asked pilots to support the strike authorization ballot to send a message to management that Delta pilots “will not stand for meager economic proposals.”
“Your Negotiating Committee would not ask for a vote in favor unless this additional leverage was needed to get our negotiations over the finish line,” he added. “With the compensation proposal management just slid across the table, there is no indication that Delta values its pilots as the best in the industry, or recognition that Delta is significantly more profitable than its competitors.”
Voting to authorize a strike would not necessarily mean a strike would happen. First, the pilots union would have to clear a number of hurdles to be able to strike under the Railway Labor Act that governs airline labor relations.
Delta said negotiations will continue to progress.
“Delta and ALPA have made significant progress in our negotiations and have resolved more than the majority of contract sections,” the company said in a written statement. “We are confident that the parties will reach a consensual deal that is fair and equitable, as we always have in past negotiations.”