Delta union chief dismisses Northwest merger

Washington DC
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Delta Air Lines’ proposed merger with Northwest Airlines has foundered over union objections, Delta’s pilot union said Monday evening.

Lee Moak, chair of Delta’s chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), told his members in a letter that further talks over the issue of seniority-list integration were pointless.

After meeting with union leadership, the so-called Master Executive Council (MEC), Moak said he had "informed the MEC and Delta’s senior executives that the two MECs were unable to reach an agreement on an acceptable seniority list integration."

Delta senior management has made it emphatically clear that it would not proceed with any deal unless the unions agreed to it.

In the union’s first public statement in weeks, Moak said the Northwest MEC had "indicated that while they were unable to address our last proposal, they were willing to discuss their last proposal further—a proposal that in our team’s estimation would jeopardize the seniority and career expectations of Delta pilots. I declined".

Moak says he is not certain what will happen next although the breakdown suggests very strongly that without a Delta/Northwest deal, all other deals such as a rumoured United Airlines-Continental Airlines tie-up are off the table. The Northwest union had no immediate comment.