Delta Air Lines Inc. officials in a meeting with union representatives this week told the company's pilots that their pension plan probably will not survive the airline's bankruptcy proceedings, said Kelly Collins, spokeswoman for the Delta unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International The pilots plan to strike if their contract is terminated, she said.
Chris Kelly, a Delta spokeswoman, said the airline is committed to keeping the pension plan. "We remain committed to seeing this through, and we're fighting to keep the pension plan here for the pilots," she said. She would not comment further.
The airline and union negotiating committee have until March 1 to agree on benefit cuts, after which an arbitration panel would decide if the airline will be allowed to break its contract with the union. The airline's Chapter 11 case is pending in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
Atlanta-based Delta had just more than $7 billion in defined benefit pension assets as of Sept. 30, according to data the airline supplied to Pensions & Investments.