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Northwest Flight Attendants Ask Court For Relief From Concessions

Date: February 12, 2007

$301 Million Profit Shows Management Overreached

Minneapolis, MN - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) at Northwest Airlines today filed a motion for relief from the concessions Northwest management imposed through the bankruptcy process. The court authorized Northwest management to reject the flight attendants collective bargaining agreement and extract $195 million in annual concessions based on a business plan that was flawed. 

With the total labor concessions in place only five months of last year, Northwest posted a $301 million pre-tax profit for 2006. This profit exceeds what management anticipated even if the total labor concessions had been in place all of last year. Clearly, management overreached and the employees of Northwest deserve to get back more than just the profit sharing. Management should not be rewarded because it used the bankruptcy process to extract more from the employees than was necessary for a successful reorganization. 

Since July 31, 2006, Northwest flight attendants have been operating under imposed pay, benefit and work rule changes that result in a 40% reduction in pay and benefits after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court authorized Northwest management to abrogate their collective bargaining agreement. Northwest management obtained an injunction to prevent the flight attendants from striking after dissolving the flight attendant agreement. This injunction is under appeal by AFA-CWA.

"Northwest flight attendants are at the forefront of the attack on labor in this country" said Jay Hong, President of the Northwest Master Executive Council. "Our flight attendants are standing strong against Northwest's outrageous tactics to eliminate more than 50 years of collective bargaining. If management will not recognize the need to rethink its demands, we have no choice but to seek relief from the courts."

CHAOS, or Create Havoc Around Our System™ is AFA-CWA's trademarked strategy of targeted work actions using random, unannounced strikes. Actual targets are a closely guarded secret. AFA-CWA maintains that any unilateral change to a collective bargaining agreement is prohibited under the Railway Labor Act and, therefore, triggers the right to strike.

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.nwaafa.org

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