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BRIEFLY / AIRLINES

Delta Pilots Reject Arbitration Offer

March 30, 2001|Bloomberg News

Delta Air Lines Inc.'s pilots rejected binding arbitration for a new contract, triggering a 30-day countdown that may end in a strike at the carrier that had already accepted the arbitration offer. The countdown will let talks proceed on pay increases, retirement benefits and other terms before a walkout. The rejection comes as Delta enters a fourth day of a pilots strike at its Comair commuter carrier. President Bush may intervene in the dispute with Delta because he vowed to try to stop airline strikes as he halted a Northwest Airlines Corp. walkout this month, analysts said. Intervention by Bush would only delay the possibility of a strike 60 days, and he has said he needs a recommendation from the National Mediation Board to intervene. Meanwhile, Comair pilots refused to reconsider their earlier decision against arbitration. Delta shares closed up 54 cents at $39.79 on the NYSE.

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