Northwest Flight Attendants Report To Judge
August 30, 2006
"Meaningful Negotiations Not Possible at this Juncture"
New York, NY – Northwest Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), informed U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero today by letter that currently, there is little possibility of meaningful negotiations with the airline. Last week, the court requested that both parties report on the likelihood that further talks at this time would be fruitful.
"We remain committed to reaching a negotiated agreement with the company regardless of the hurdles along the way," said Mollie Reiley, Interim Master Executive Council President. "However, at this time it appears that the company is more focused on their legal strategy than meaningful discussions. Until the time comes when they are willing to sit down and negotiate a fair contract, it is necessary that we level the playing field and exercising our right to strike does just that."
On Friday, Judge Marrero temporarily blocked AFA-CWA from a planned CHAOS ™ strike until he had ample time to decide whether to grant Northwest management an injunction that would prevent the flight attendants from striking at the airline. Earlier in the month, a federal bankruptcy court judge upheld AFA-CWA's right to strike. The company then filed an appeal in the U.S. district court.
In a letter issued to the court today, AFA-CWA said:
Management's focus on a litigation strategy designed to strip its flight attendants of its lawful right to engage in self-help precludes the possibility that Northwest will make the contract proposals necessary for membership ratification.
"The bankruptcy court upheld our right to strike and we are confident that this fundamental right will once again prevail," said Reiley. "There is no reason to believe that the company would sit down and negotiate fairly after they have destroyed our contract, cut our wages and benefits by 40 percent, and attacked our right to strike. They would like us to return to the table while the injunction is in place and our hands are tied."
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 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. For more information about our campaign for a fair contract, visit our Northwest flight attendants website at www.nwaafa.org.