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Fire in 'da hole!!!!
Sep 10, 2004
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Looks as if the mechanics still have little to no chance of.... Well, you decide...

Northwest says talks with mechanics to resume

Eric Wieffering, Star Tribune September 8, 2005 NWATALKS0908

?OAS_AD('Button20');?Northwest Airlines and its striking mechanics will resume bargaining Thursday in Minneapolis, with the company warning that it may require even steeper pay and job cuts than it sought prior to the strike.

"Our last best offer which was presented to you on August 18 was based on economic circumstances that no longer exist today," Northwest said in a letter Tuesday to the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA).

Absent a deal with its mechanics union, Northwest said it will begin hiring permanent replacement workers Sept. 13.

Mechanics struck Aug. 19, rejecting a deal that would have resulted in about 2,000 job losses and pay cuts of about 25 percent. Northwest, which is trying to save $1.1 billion a year in labor costs, said its proposal to AMFA would have saved $176 million a year.

In its letter, however, Northwest said $1.1 billion in annual labor savings may not be enough. In recent weeks jet fuel prices have skyrocketed to $92 a barrel. As a result, Northwest expects its 2005 fuel bill to total $3.3 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2004.

AMFA represents about 4,400 Northwest employees. Northwest has been relying on outside vendors, managers, and about 1,500 temporary replacement workers to do their jobs.

In its letter to AMFA, Northwest warned that jobs performed by cleaners and custodians -- roughly 800 AMFA jobs -- have been "permanently transferred to more efficient third party vendors," as have mechanics jobs at smaller cities served by Northwest.

Eric Wieffering is at