Delta pilots to picket at NWA hubs
ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines pilots have been granted permits to picket at Northwest Airlines hub airports amid a dispute over seniority between the two airlines’ unions that so far has held up a combination of the carriers, according to a memo Tuesday.
The permits grant Delta’s pilots permission to picket at the Minneapolis and Detroit airports, which are considered Northwest crew bases, from Thursday to April 24, a person familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Northwest’s pilots union told its members in the memo that Delta’s pilots have been granted such approvals in the past but have not followed through and actually picketed. The union said it reserves the right to do the same thing at Delta hub airports if it chooses.
A spokeswoman for Delta’s pilots union did not respond to an e-mail Tuesday evening seeking comment.
People familiar with the combination discussions between Delta and Northwest said earlier this week that Delta is trying to determine whether to push ahead with a combination with Northwest without a prearranged deal between their pilots, a move that could change details of the deal.
Delta and Northwest are looking at their route structures and how a combination now would affect them given $100-a-barrel oil and a decision by both carriers to cut domestic capacity, one of the people said.