Delta pilots feed the hand that bites them

Delta airplane

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: If your company told you it's gonna end your pension plan, would you feel a lot of loyalty? You wouldn't think so. But today, the government's expected to give Delta Airlines the go-ahead to stop pensions for its pilots. And yesterday, those pilots rallied in support of their employer. From WBUR, Curt Nickisch explains what gives.


CURT NICKISCH: Delta pilots have seen their salaries and pensions get slashed year-in and year-out as the airline struggles to stay aloft.

That might make you want to badmouth your boss, but hostile takeovers make strange bedfellows.

At Logan Airport in Boston yesterday, Delta pilots rallied in support of the carrier's rejection of a $9 billion buyout bid from US Airways.

Pilot Norman Abare would rather have the penny-pinching boss he knows than the debt-ridden boss he doesn't.

NORMAN ABARE: In the long term as an employee, you look at that as a company that's effectively booby-trapped for another bankruptcy.

While there won't be any rallies today, Abare and the pilots' union are backing Delta's request to have the federal government take over their pension obligations. They hope it'll bolster the airline's reorganization plan.

It's now up to Delta's creditors and a bankruptcy judge whether the plan becomes the carrier's ticket to solvency.

In Boston, I'm Curt Nickisch for Marketplace.

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