More than 60,000 employees at Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines might be looking forward to wearing a brand new uniform on 29th March but sources from within the company suggest many of them, including flight attendants, aren’t quite so pleased with this year’s pay raise. The reported rise of 3%, which was announced a few days ago, is due to take effect on October 1st.
Since that announcement, however, employees have started to voice their dissatisfaction with the award. Some have called the raise “too little, too late” while the union which is campaigning to officially represent flight attendants at the airline say they have been “flooded” with requests for voting cards.
As one of the few airlines in the U.S. which doesn’t currently recognise unions, the airline’s annual pay raise is decided without any formal input from its own employees. The IAM union which is running a high profile campaign to represent Delta flight attendants say they would secure a collective bargaining agreement which would remove uncertainty.
Flight attendants have also been told they won’t be receiving any summer incentive payments this year either.
But Delta says the 3% raise will be the 11th such pay increase in the last 12-years. The airline says its invested $1.5 billion in base pay increases in the last 5-years alone. On top of that, Delta is well known for its much-hyped profit employee profit-sharing scheme.
This year, the airline paid out more than $1 billion to its 80,000 worldwide employees. Equating to more than 10% of gross annual pay for most of Delta’s staffers.
“This is the fourth year in a row that Delta’s profit sharing has topped $1 billion — a milestone no company in history has ever achieved,” explained Delta’s Chief Executive, Ed Bastian.
“Rather than make a one-off payment like other companies, Delta is invested in highly competitive base pay, an industry-leading annual profit sharing plan, and monthly bonuses each year when the airline performs well.”
But Bastion has plenty of critics within the company. Some have started to compare his $13 million remuneration package in 2017 with the average wage earned by Delta’s front-line employees. Others have criticised the airline for refusing to offer affordable healthcare at a time of spiralling medical costs.