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Pilots plan to picket at Delta annual meeting

Pilots for Delta Air Lines plan to picket at the company's annual meeting in New York on Friday, saying they want to "raise the sense of urgency" in ongoing contract talks.

The Air Line Pilots Association at Delta is pushing for higher pilot pay, after agreeing to concessions during bankruptcy a decade ago.

With Delta's high profitability, "The environment is opportune for the Company to substantively improve pilot compensation and work rules," according to the pilots union.

The pilots will conduct informational picketing early Friday morning at One Worldwide Plaza, outside the law offices of Cravath, Swaine and Moore where Delta will hold its annual shareholders meeting.

The previous Delta pilots contract extended until the end of 2015, making the contract amendable since the beginning of the year.

After pilots voted to reject a proposed contract last year over pay and other issues, the union re-opened negotiations with a proposal for a nearly 40 percent raise over three years. The two sides turned to federal mediation in March. The pilots union is pushing for a new deal by this summer.

Delta said it agrees a tentative agreement can be reached this summer.

"Delta remains committed to reaching an industry-leading deal that is also sustainable and market-based. We believe that our pilots are the best in the industry and should continue to be the best paid," the company said in a written statement.

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Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.