Dollars and Jens
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Delta Air Lines pilots, angered by management's effort to throw out their contract and impose deep pay cuts, voted by a wide margin to authorize a strike, union leaders said Tuesday.If they decide not to come to their jobs, it would almost certainly be a permanent decision; as is often the case for companies in bankruptcy, Delta's operations aren't in top health.
The 94.7 percent favorable vote lets union leaders set a strike date. They didn't set a date immediately and gave no indication when they might act.
The company says the average 2005 earnings of pilots who worked the full year was more than $157,000. The union says pilots, on average, made $151,000.This is in part because anyone with less than five years of seniority has already been laid off, and is not part of this average. (Presumably having to cut the least expensive employees first was part of the union contract.)
It would seem natural to me to give the pilots some sort of market wage, and give them a claim for the difference on par with those of other creditors. How easy it would be to fairly assess that number isn't known to me; I read elsewhere that new pilots right now would be starting around $15,000 or $20,000, but that's presumably a well below the appropriate market rate for these pilots.