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Delta Air Lines raises staff pay, increases starting wages to $19 an hour

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

Atlanta-based carrier Delta Air Lines has unveiled plans to increase pay for nonunion flight attendants and ground workers following a robust first-quarter performance that exceeded Wall Street’s predictions.

The airline, renowned as the most profitable in the United States, has committed to raising the minimum wage for its employees to $19 per hour, along with a 5% pay raise that caps at $79.80. These adjustments will take effect on June 1 and will benefit over 80,000 employees. 

Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian underscored the significance of investing in their workforce, stating, “Delta’s leading position comes thanks to a simple concept that dates back nearly a century – invest in our people first, and they will deliver great service and experiences for our customers,” in a memo shared with employees and posted online on Monday.

Delta has steadily increased pay for its major work groups by 20 to 25% since 2022, encompassing base pay raises and profit-sharing initiatives. In February, the company distributed $1.4 billion in profit-sharing to its 100,000+ employees, marking a notable 146% surge compared to the previous year. With a profit of $4.6 billion last year, Delta outperformed four of its competitors — Southwest, Alaska, United, and American Airlines — combined.

Despite having only 20% of its workforce unionized, significantly lower than its key competitors, Delta employs more than 18,000 pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, with the majority of remaining staff being nonunion.

Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), which recently reached a tentative agreement with Southwest Airlines covering their 20,000 flight attendants, has faced hurdles in unionization efforts, mirroring the broader decline in union membership across the country. 

However, the AFA remains steadfast, asserting, “Management knows we’re waking up to what we can achieve when we organize our union. They’re doing everything in their power to satisfy us with crumbs. But we know our worth.”

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