FORMER WORKERS OF PAN AM FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST DELTA

FORMER WORKERS OF PAN AM FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST DELTA

Former employees of Pan American World Airways have sued Delta Air Lines, alleging Delta cost them their jobs and benefits by wrongfully withdrawing

from a deal to save Pan Am.

The employees asked for $1.1 billion in damages. Their suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York, was the third filed against Delta since Pan Am shut down Dec. 4. Pan Am's creditors and management also have sued Delta.The suit, which was expected, said Delta repeatedly assured Pan Am's employees that they would have jobs at the reorganized, Miami-based airline, but failed to support the new airline with funds, schedule coordination, code- sharing or marketing.

Clay McConnell, a Delta spokesman, said Delta regrets the demise of Pan Am but is not at fault.

"Pan Am killed Pan Am; Delta didn't," he said. "Over a period of years, Pan Am sold off most of its valuable assets, furloughed thousands of employees and continued to lose $3 million to $4 million a day.

"Despite the best efforts of Delta and Pan Am management, Pan Am simply could not produce a viable plan of reorganization," Mr. McConnell said.

The suit was filed on behalf of 8,000 former Pan Am employees, who are being asked to pay $50 each for legal expenses.