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News
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Delta pilots fight job cuts
graphic November 1, 2001: 3:37 p.m. ET

Union seeks to block furloughs of 1,700 pilots at nation's No. 3 airline.
By Staff Writer Chris Isidore
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  • UAL, Delta 3Q losses beat forecasts - Nov. 1, 2001
  • Delta to cut 13,000 jobs, 15% of schedule - Sept. 26, 2001
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  • Delta Air Lines
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - The Air Line Pilots Association filed a grievance Thursday challenging Delta Air Lines' decision to furlough 1,700 pilots as part of the airlines' plans to cut staff by about 13,000 jobs.

    "Our contract has a no-furlough clause that covers all pilots on the seniority list on July 1, 2001," said a statement from Capt. William Buergey, chairman of the union's Delta unit. "Nearly all of the pilots targeted for layoff are protected by that provision."

    A representative of Delta, the nation's No. 3 airline, said that management believes the grievance is without merit.

    "The events of Sept. 11 and the resulting reduction in passenger demand are outside the control of the company," said Cindi Kurczewski, an airline spokeswoman. "Delta has responded to the events of Sept. 11 and the aftermath by reducing our schedule, requiring us to make immediate and significant reduction in jobs consistent with the schedule."

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    The union said is to be heard by an arbitrator within 90 days. The company had used a clause in the contract that allows for furloughs only in extraordinary circumstances beyond the company's control, known as "force majeure."

    About 400 of the lower-seniority pilots were furloughed Thursday, the first day involuntary layoffs took effect. Delta issued a statement Wednesday saying 11,000 Delta employees had accepted a variety of voluntary separation packages, including leaves of absence, severance and special early retirement incentives.

    But the pilots, the only employee group at Delta with union representation, were not offered the voluntary separation package. The union said the contract did not prevent the company from extending the voluntary separation deals to the pilots, but the company said that the labor pact prevented the offer from being applied without modification. Because of that disagreement, about 1,700 of the 2,000 involuntary furloughs will be from the pilots group.

    There are about 10,000 pilots at Delta and Delta Express, a low-cost carrier serving the Florida vacation market from the Midwest and Northeast. About half of the pilots being furloughed work at Delta Express.

    Most major airlines in the country have laid off staff due to a sharp cut in their operating schedules in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, with the industry losing about 100,000 jobs since then. Of the nation's eight largest airline companies only Southwest Airlines has not announced furloughs or layoffs.

    Click here for a look at airline stocks

    Delta Thursday posted a slightly smaller-than-expected loss for the third quarter and said it plans to cut capital spending and negotiate the delay or cancellation of aircraft purchases due to the current financial situation.

    Relations between Delta and ALPA have been rocky for much of the year, as pilots nearly went on strike before reaching an 11th-hour contract settlement. That pact prompted much criticism among the rank and file but eventually passed after union leadership argued the union faced having a less-attractive contract imposed by the federal government. graphic

      RELATED STORIES

    UAL, Delta 3Q losses beat forecasts - Nov. 1, 2001

    Delta to cut 13,000 jobs, 15% of schedule - Sept. 26, 2001

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    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

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