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NWA Flight Attendants Reach Tentative Agreement

Date: July 17, 2006

Agreement Subject to Leadership Approval and Membership Ratification

Northwest Airlines flight attendant Kathy Collias, front left, joins other flight attendants in an informational picket outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, July 14, 2006.
(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Minneapolis, MN - After a week of intense bargaining and a final, marathon session, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) and Northwest Airlines reached a new tentative agreement early this morning.  Negotiators reached the agreement in time to avoid rejection of the existing flight attendant contract, as had been authorized by the bankruptcy court.

"With the airline in bankruptcy, this deal was always going to be about survival," said Mollie Reiley, Northwest Interim Master Executive Council (MEC) President.  "We left no stone unturned and have made a significant difference together, but this is not a day that we celebrate.  We have an agreement that will give flight attendants hope for the future and one that allows us to fight another day." 

Flight attendants voted down a previous tentative agreement by an overwhelming margin.  AFA-CWA, who was elected as the new union for the Northwest flight attendants less than 10 days ago, went to work immediately, restarting negotiations that led to this tentative agreement.

"Our flight attendants rightfully demanded to see improvements in the terms of the previous tentative agreement," said Reiley.  "We have addressed the areas that caused the greatest concern in order to make this agreement one that we can live with today and build upon in future better times at Northwest Airlines."

The tentative agreement will next be submitted to the Northwest MEC. The MEC, made up of local presidents from each base in the Northwest system, decides whether to accept the tentative agreement and send it out for membership ratification.  That meeting will take place in the next few days. 

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 55,000 flight attendant, including 9,200 at Northwest, 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.nwaafa.org.

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