Delta pilots have been ordered to clean out their lockers.
The pilots union at Delta Air Lines Incorporated ordered members to clear their lockers today in anticipation of a possible strike the union says is “becoming more likely every day.”
The union representing the airline’s 5,930 pilots is in a protracted dispute with management over long-term pay and benefit cuts the Atlanta-based company is seeking.
The company has asked an arbitration panel to void its pilot contract so it can impose up to $325 million in cuts. The pilots union has said it will strike if the contract is rejected.
The panel must rule by April 15. The pilots have given their union leader authorization to call a strike anytime after April 17.
The union says its action today is to prepare for the possibility of a strike by having pilots remove flight gear and personal belongings from their lockers in crew rooms across the country.
The union says removing the items will prevent senior executives at the nation’s third-largest carrier from blocking access to the equipment by a lockout.
Delta spokesman Bruce Hicks says the airline’s focus will remain on what he calls “the critical issue of reaching a consensual agreement.”