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Mesaba Airlines Re-Files Bankruptcy Motion after Pathetic Attempt to Negotiate

Date: June 13, 2006

Minneapolis, MN - For the second time in less than six months, Mesaba Airlines filed an 1113(c) motion on Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking the right to abrogate the collective bargaining agreement of their flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA).

"This attempt by management to circumvent the negotiations process is cowardly and completely unnecessary," said Tim Evenson, Master Council Executive President. "Last month, the judge denied Mesaba's previous claim after evidence revealed that management did not meet nor follow the legal requirements necessary.  And in less than a month, nothing has changed. We don't think it's good faith bargaining when management presents its first proposal at the same time they tell us they're running back to the bankruptcy court to force the issue."

On May 18, a Federal bankruptcy judge denied Mesaba's first attempt to abrogate their labor groups' contracts and recommended that management return to the bargaining table. Since then, AFA-CWA has met with Mesaba management to negotiate but has yet to reach an agreement. Despite some modifications in certain areas such as attrition rates, management still insists on a 19.4 percent wage and benefit cut for six years.

Mesaba flight attendants have already made it clear that if the bankruptcy court abrogates their contract they will strike. On June 11, Mesaba flight attendants in Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis participated in a CHAOS™ strike drill. The purpose of the drill was to test how effective preparations have been and what needs to be done in order to ensure maximum impact in the event of actual CHAOS.

"This management team can not be trusted and we must do whatever it takes to ensure that our voices are heard. Mesaba flight attendants have already made it clear that they will not settle for anything less and will do whatever it takes to get a fair and equitable agreement. We will continue to stand strong and fight for what we believe in," said Evenson.

The current company proposal would reduce the annual income of some flight attendants with a family of four to under $10,000 after paying for insurance benefits, based on the drastic wage cuts and increased health insurance premiums management has demanded.

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 46,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come 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 (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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