Delta employees say takeover would hurt service in Augusta

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January 26, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Keep Delta My Delta is a national campaign by Delta employees to stop a hostile takeover by U.S. Airways. Delta's creditors only have six days to decide the fate of the airline and its employees.

U.S. Airways says their more than $10 billion bid is off the table in six days if Delta doesn't bite...and that's exactly what many Delta employees say they are hoping for.

It's a merger that's met a lot of turbulence before ever getting off the ground.

In Augusta, a merge between US Airways and Delta would mean a monopoly for air travel in our town, since the two are the only carriers in that fly in and out of Augusta.

Bill Morey is on the Delta board council. He warns a monopoly in Augusta would mean fewer flight options such as times and destinations and higher ticket prices as well.

"It takes two networks with so much overlap and combines them in a way that is really anti-competitive," Bill Morey told News 12 by phone. "It's going to drastically affect the quality and quantity of service in and out of your city."

Morey says it also puts more than two hundred people at the Delta Reservations Office at risk of losing their jobs.

But U.S. Airways says they have a track record of mergers that do work

"With the US Airways American West merger, we not only didn't furlough anyone, but we created four thousand new jobs," said U.S. Airways rep Valerie Wunder by phone.

U.S. Airways says the merger would help small towns like Augusta.

"Small towns would actually benefit," Wunder said. "I don't know if you are aware, but U.S. Airways actually just lowered rates in Augusta, and we are trying to do that throughout our system and make it more affordable to fly."

U.S. Airways adds it is too early to tell what would happen to the Reservations Center and its employees, but they maintain a merger would be good for everyone involved.

"We feel the Delta creditors would gain a lot from this bid and we stand behind it. It will be good for not only creditors and shareholders but for employees and customers as well," said Wunder.

Bill Morey just got back to L.A. yesterday from Washington, D.C., where the Keep Delta My Delta campaign met with lawmakers to express their concerns. They gave representatives copies of a petition signed by more than 104,000 customers and employees against the merger.

Read more about Keep Delta My Delta by clicking here.