Northwest Flight Attendants Reach Tentative Agreement
April 26, 2007
Agreement Subject to Leadership Approval and Membership Ratification
Minneapolis, MN - After a week of intense bargaining sessions, Northwest flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), and Northwest Airlines management reached a tentative agreement today. Negotiators reached the agreement in time to protect a $182 million bankruptcy claim that could, if ratified, yield approximately $15,000 to $18,000 per flight attendant subject to market conditions.
"A concessionary agreement is never cause to celebrate and is never easy," said Jay Hong, AFA-CWA President at Northwest. "But this tentative agreement gives our members an opportunity to vote on whether to take the $182 million bankruptcy claim and other improvements before the claim is lost when the airline exits bankruptcy."
Northwest flight attendants had voted down two previous tentative agreements. In June 2006, a federal bankruptcy judge gave Northwest management permission to throw out over 50 years of collective bargaining and imposed wage and benefit cuts upon the flight attendants. This resulted in a 20% increase in work hours and a 40% reduction to pay, benefits, and work rules.
"If the leadership sends this to a membership vote, we will respect the decision of our members," said Hong. "One thing is certain, we will continue the battle to restore and improve our members' pay, benefits and working conditions regardless of the outcome of the vote. We will never rest until we have rebuilt what this bankruptcy has destroyed."
The tentative agreement will next be submitted to AFA-CWA's Northwest Master Executive Council (MEC). The MEC, made up of local union 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 attendants 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.