Delta Raises Employee Pay 5%, Second Increase in a Year

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  • Delta is raising pay for ground workers and flight attendants by 5% effective April 1.
  • The wage hikes come as travel rebounds and the labor market remains tight.
  • A labor union representing the airline industry's flight attendants and cabin crews launched a campaign to organize Delta staff in 2019.

Delta Air Lines is raising employee pay 5%, the second time its lifted staff pay in less than a year as a sharp rebound in travel boosts the carrier's profits and the U.S. labor market remains tight.

Delta raised employee pay 4% in May, the first increases since before the pandemic.

"Considering the depths of losses we suffered during the pandemic, including a $1 billion first quarter loss just last year, this is truly a remarkable achievement," CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a staff note on Tuesday. "I'm confident that in the months and years ahead, our high-performance culture will take us to new heights, and that payout pool will continue to grow."

Delta said the new raises go into effect April 1 and apply to ground workers and flight attendants. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA started a unionization campaign of Delta's cabin crew members in late 2019.

The pay hikes do not apply to Delta's pilots, who are voting on a new contract proposal that includes 34% raises over four years. If ratified, the pilots would get 18% raises on the date of signing.

Delta posted a $1.32 billion profit last year, recovering from a record loss of more than $12 billion in 2020, during the depths of the pandemic.

Atlanta-based Delta is also planning to pay its staff more than $550 million in shared profits later this month, Bastian said Tuesday.

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