Delta hands out bonuses to managers whose pay was cut in the pandemic

Delta Air Lines Bombardier Boeing 757-200 plane as seen arriving, on last strategy for touchdown in New York JFK John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Delta Air Lines, which acquired billions of {dollars} in federal support final yr, is paying managers bonuses starting from just a few thousand {dollars} to greater than $100,000 to make up for pay cuts at the begin of the pandemic final yr.

Frontline staff like flight attendants, pilots and others in non-managerial positions aren’t receiving bonuses.

Last yr, Delta cut managers’ pay and likewise decreased 1000’s of staff’ hours by 25% to assist climate the pandemic’s plunge in journey demand, a coverage that was criticized by some lawmakers. The Atlanta-based airline prevented involuntary furloughs or job cuts, partially thanks to the 18,000 workers, roughly 20% of Delta’s pre-pandemic workforce, that accepted buyouts and early retirement packages final yr. The provider posted a document lack of $12.four billion in 2020.

“While all Delta people were affected by the worst year in our history, following a comprehensive pay review of all levels in our organization below the executive officer level, we identified levels that were disproportionately impacted as a result of last year’s events and made a one-time adjustment payment,” Delta mentioned in a press release.

Delta acquired $5.6 billion in federal support final yr as a part of a $25 billion program handed as a part of in the CARES Act in March that prohibited airways from slicing workers.  The provider expects to obtain $2.9 billion this quarter as a part of an extension of that program that Congress handed late final yr, Delta mentioned in a submitting final month.

The pilots’ union criticized the transfer, which was first reported Sunday by the View from the Wing journey weblog, saying it went towards the spirit of the CARES Act, federal payroll help that airways acquired final yr in change for not involuntarily slicing employee.

“While we are confident that Delta will recover quickly once the country comes through the pandemic, the payment of special bonuses to management while the airline is still burning cash is premature and inappropriate,” mentioned Chris Riggins, spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, in a press release. “We also believe the payment of bonuses limited to management is inconsistent with the spirit of the CARES Act. This was an unfortunate and shortsighted decision.” 

Delta says it’s following the CARES Act phrases, which positioned limits on high government compensation. Managers’ compensation can differ relying on firm efficiency. Delta says it continued to pay rewards to frontline and different workers for hitting operational targets however these quantities are decrease than the bonuses.

The provider and its U.S. opponents are on monitor to obtain further federal payroll support.

On Friday, the House handed a $1.9 billion coronavirus reduction bundle that features a third spherical of federal payroll help for airways. If the invoice passes the Senate, U.S. airways would get $14 billion in change for maintaining staff paid till Sept. 30. U.S. airways have already acquired $40 billion in payroll help in two different coronavirus support packages.

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