Delta Pilots Union Gives Chairman Right to Set Strike Date

ATLANTA (AP) - Leaders of the pilots union at Delta Air Lines
said today they gave their chairman the right to order a strike
anytime after April 17th.

This is the first time the union has mentioned a date in
connection with its threat to strike if Delta is successful in
voiding its contract so it can impose more than 300 (m) million
dollars in long-term pay and benefit cuts.

An arbitration panel must decide by April 15th whether to void
the pilots' contract. The union has said it will strike if its
contract is rejected.

The union has not set a strike date. Both the pilots and the
company are continuing to talk in hopes of reaching a consensual

The procedural vote today by the union's executive committee
gives Chairman Lee Moak the sole right to call a strike, rather
than having to get the permission of union leaders as a group.

Company spokesman Bruce Hicks said the company remains committed
to reaching a deal with its pilots.