Delta Air Lines said Monday that if its pilots strike it would be "murder-suicide,” in effect putting the airline out of business.
Delta's comments in a court filing come two days before a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in New York will hold a hearing to discuss Delta's request to reject its pilots' union contract.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Delta's six-thousand pilots, has raised the prospect of a strike if the contract is rejected by the court. The union has scheduled a rally for tomorrow to defend the contract.
Delta said in its filing today that if its court motion is granted, it will impose $325 million in concessions it is seeking from its pilots. It said a strike would be disastrous, and illegal.
Delta argued in the filing that the Railway Labor Act prevents the pilots from striking.
Union spokesman John Culp said the pilots are united in their position, though he stressed there has been no determination on a specific course of action should Delta win its court fight and cancel the contract.