Delta gives staff 5% raise and hikes minimum starting salary

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Delta Air Lines said Monday that it will give most of its employees a 5% raise and will increase the minimum starting salary that it offers in some positions.

The raise takes effect June 1 as another expected busy summer travel season kicks off. It covers flight attendants and most ground-based employees, including front-line workers like rampers and ground handlers, along with mechanics and some office workers.

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Pilots are not included in the raise. Because Delta pilots are unionized, their wages and benefits are governed by their collective bargaining agreement with the company. Last year, Delta and its pilots agreed to a new four-year contract that immediately raised wages by 18%, with annual raises ranging from 4% to 5% for the following years. The agreement came after years of tense negotiations between pilots and the airline, culminating in Delta pilots voting in 2022 to authorize a potential strike if a deal couldn’t be reached.

Some flight attendants have also campaigned to unionize, and an organization drive that launched in 2019 under the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA is still underway.

Related: Breeze flight attendants file plans to unionize

The raise announced Monday represents the third year in a row of salary increases for Delta, aligning with the trajectory of the airline’s coronavirus pandemic-era recovery. It matches the 5% raise offered by the airline in 2023.

Delta also offers an annual profit-sharing bonus program for employees, which it disburses every February. This year’s bonus saw $1.4 billion split among the airline’s workforce. An airline spokesperson said that the carrier had set aside $125 million for profit sharing following the first quarter — $50 million more than last year. Delta, which reported a $37 million profit during the typically slow first quarter, is so far the only carrier to report being profitable during the first three months of the year.

In the memo, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said that the carrier had increased compensation for front-line work groups by as much as 25% since 2022.

“With this increase in base pay and starting rates, we continue our commitment to provide Delta people with industry-leading total compensation for industry-leading performance,” Bastain wrote.

The full memo can be seen below.

Delta Pay Increase Memo by David Slotnick

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