Delta and its pilots ask mediator for help in contract talks

Delta Air Lines and its pilots want Washington to help them agree on a new contract for the pilots

ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines and its pilots want a federal mediator to step in after eight months of negotiations have failed to produce a contract agreement between the airline and the pilots’ union.

In a statement Friday, Delta said filing for federal mediation “allows both sides to have more productive conversations” to reach an agreement more quickly.

The chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association’s Delta group, Ryan Schnitzler, said in a message to his members that mediation might “motivate management to meaningfully engage at the table.”

The union is seeking higher pay, better benefits and more hiring. Atlanta-based Delta relied on overtime to operate during the busy summer travel season last year.