Pilots to picket Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson and other airports

Delta said demonstration by off-duty pilots will not affect flight schedules.

Delta Air Lines pilots plan to picket at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday ahead of the busy Labor Day travel weekend as they push for a new labor contract.

Pilots in uniform plan to assemble on the Terminal South curbside holding signs from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The informational picketing is part of a broader round of labor demonstrations planned at airport hubs across the country by members of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents pilots at multiple carriers.

The pilots are off-duty and the demonstration is not a strike, and Delta said it will have no effect on flight schedules. For Delta pilots, it’s the third round of informational picketing this year, after picketing March 10 and June 30 over staffing issues.

Delta issued a statement saying: “These exercises by some of our off-duty pilots do not disrupt our operation for our customers. ALPA’s stated purpose of picketing is simply to gain leverage at the negotiating table.”

The company and the pilots union started contract negotiations in 2019, paused them during the pandemic and restarted talks early this year.

During previous rounds of picketing, the pilots union representing Delta’s 13,900 pilots said the airline’s scheduling caused pilots to fly “long and often fatiguing trips.”

Airline staffing issues have had a significant impact on travelers this summer, as Delta and other carriers have canceled flights and cut schedules, causing frustrations for travelers.

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Delta spokesman Benjamin Zhang said the company aims to provide pilots with an “industry-leading overall contract with the best compensation based on pay, retirement and profit sharing. We’re also committed to making sure the contract language supports our ability to run a world-class operation, maintain a strong balance sheet, and invest in our business for our customers and employees alike.”

Pilots from Delta and other carriers will be picketing Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson, Boston Logan, New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Washington D.C.’s Reagan National, Orlando International, Detroit Metro, Chicago O’Hare, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Salt Lake City International, Las Vegas McCarran, Seattle-Tacoma, San Francisco International and Los Angeles International.