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Delta, Northwest offer worker buyouts

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Delta Air Lines is offering voluntary buyouts to its U.S. employees but did not indicate how many jobs it wants to cut through the offer, officials said.

The offer is being extended both to Delta employees and workers with Northwest Airlines, which Delta purchased in October, Delta CEO Richard Anderson said in a Friday memo to employees obtained by the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis.

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"To deal with the effect of the recession, we are moving quickly and decisively to decrease systemwide capacity by 6 to 8 percent," Anderson said.

There will be two buyout programs available for employees from Jan. 15 to 31. One is targeted at employees with 10 or more years of service whose age and service years add up to at least 55. Another program is for ground workers and flight attendants who have at least five years of service, as well as for salaried employees who have a short tenure with either airline, the newspaper said.

Anderson reportedly told employees in the memo that Delta and other carriers already have seen signs of weakness in passenger bookings that could indicate the airline industry is heading toward an 8 percent to 12 percent revenue plunge next year.

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