Delta pilots hold informational picket at MSP Thursday

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Air travelers flying in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) could see pilots picketing Thursday morning.

The picketing will be done at a handful of airports across the country, with pilots demanding solutions to flight cancellations and delays.

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Pilots say they’re exhausted from working record amounts of overtime to keep up with the high demand, and they’re also asking for more pay and job protection.

Thursday’s picket isn’t expected to interfere with flights due to it being an informational picket, but Delta has recently been under fire for canceling flights. The airline also announced an upcoming reduction of flights this summer, partly due to staffing issues.

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The Air Line Pilots association – which represents nearly 14,000 Delta pilots – took a “no confidence” vote in the management for scheduling issues.

These negotiations have been going on since the start of the year.

“These pilots are picking up record amounts of flying on their days off to safely carry their passengers to their destinations, often with longer days and shorter rest periods,” said Captain Jason Ambrosi, a pilot for Delta.

Delta issued a statement saying the company’s goal is to provide pilots with an industry-leading contract and states “this informational exercise by some of our off-duty pilots will not disrupt our operation for our customers.”

The union is also setting up a strike center in Atlanta to prepare to take the next step if negotiations aren’t met.

Delta Air Lines said earlier this month it had hired more pilots and flight attendants to adjust more quickly to disruptions.

As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Delta pilots also picketed outside of MSP this past April.