Bankruptcy Court Upholds Flight Attendants' Right To Strike
August 17, 2006
New York, NY- The Northwest Airlines flight attendants' right to strike was upheld today by a federal bankruptcy court. In a decision issued by Judge Allan L. Gropper, the court denied the airline's request for an injunction that would have prevented the Northwest flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), from striking in response to the company's rejection of their collective bargaining agreement.
"Today we sent a strong message to corporate America: you cannot keep taking from your employees without a fight," said Mollie Reiley, Interim Master Executive Council President. "Now, Northwest management has one more chance. They have the choice to either set greed aside for once and agree to a fair and equitable contract, or they will face CHAOS™. Management needs to reduce their demands and do it in a hurry."
CHAOS, or Create Havoc Around Our System™, is AFA-CWA's trademarked strategy of targeted work actions using random, unannounced strikes. As upheld by the bankruptcy court, any unilateral change in a contract triggers a right to strike under the Railway Labor Act.
On July 31, the company imposed terms outlined in a tentative agreement that was overwhelmingly rejected by the flight attendants earlier. The terms consisted of over forty percent reductions in salary and benefits. AFA-CWA issued the company notice of their intent to exercise their right to strike as early as August 25 at 9:01 pm CDT.
"Today's ruling is a victory for the Northwest flight attendants, and for all working people," said AFA-CWA General Counsel David Borer. "In upholding the right to strike, the court recognized that bankruptcy is not a free ride for rich executives. This levels the playing field."
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.