Delta will delay decision to furlough pilots until November, union says

Delta will delay decision to furlough pilots until November, union says
Delta Air Lines passenger planes are seen parked due to flight reductions made to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.

Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

Delta Air Lines has agreed to delay the decision to furlough close to 2,000 pilots until Nov. 1, giving more time to negotiate cost-cutting measures and lobbying for additional federal aid, their union said Tuesday. 

Delta had planned to furlough more than 1,900 of its 13,000 pilots as early as Oct. 1, when the terms of billions in federal coronavirus aid that prohibit airline job cuts expires. Delta has largely avoided furloughs of its staff after thousands took buyouts and leaves of absence and the company reduced many workers’ schedules.

“This move will provide time as we continue to lobby for a clean extension of the CARES Act and the Payroll Support Program and resume our negotiations with Delta,” the union said in a statement.

Delta and the pilots union reached a tentative agreement last week to reduce the furloughs by 220 pilots for a total of 1,721 but the union and carrier plan to keep discussing ways to avoid pilot job cuts outright.

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