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Mesaba Airlines Files Bankruptcy Motion To Seek Further Concessions From Flight Attendants

Date: February 6, 2006

Minneapolis, MN - Mesaba Airlines filed an 1113(c) motion on Friday that seeks the right to abrogate the Mesaba flight attendants' collective bargaining agreement.  Mesaba management had previously asked flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), for a 20% wage rate reduction, 60% increases in health insurance premiums, and significant changes in job security and work rules.

"Mesaba flight attendants have a hard time making ends meet as it is," said Carla Rogat, AFA-CWA Vice President. "And now the company wants to take even more from us.  The time has come for management to take responsibility for their actions and try to rebuild in a fair and honest fashion.  Instead, companies continue turn to their work groups to make up for their shortfall.  This is not the answer and the trend must stop."

The motion, filed under federal bankruptcy code, allows a company to seek to abrogate collective bargaining agreements and force cuts from their labor groups, as long as they can prove that it is necessary for re-organization and that their previous attempts to negotiate with the groups failed. 

If the bankruptcy court sides with Mesaba, then a new flight attendant with the airline could expect to see a paycheck of less than $1,000 a month.  That, coupled with increased health insurance premiums, would mean that some flight attendant's wages would be below the poverty level.

"What Mesaba management is doing is unconscionable," said Rogat.  "Mesaba has refused to even consider the cost saving proposal we submitted.  All they are concerned about is putting more money in their pockets."

Mesaba, a regional carrier for Northwest Airlines, filed for bankruptcy in October 2005.  As a wholly owned subsidiary of MAIR Holdings, Mesaba is solely responsible for 95% of the profits of MAIR Holdings.

75 Years of Safety & Service: 60 Years of Unity
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the flight attendant profession and the 60th anniversary of the Association of Flight Attendants.  More than 46,000 flight attendants, join together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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