In a move that will directly influence the proposed merger between Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, union leaders encouraged pilots (about 7,000 from Delta and 5,000 from Northwest) to approve a joint collective bargaining agreement between the two, the Associated Press reports. After Europe regulators approved the deal last week, the pilots' approval is a crucial step in influencing a smooth transition for the two airlines by the
end of the year. The merger remains subject to
shareholder approval as well as approval from U.S. regulators.
The joint collective bargaining agreement calls for raises of more than 18 percent over four years for pilots in addition to 3.5 percent equity stake for Delta pilots and 2.38 percent equity stake for Northwest pilots.