NWA pilots consider immediate cost cuts

pb4ufly

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NWA pilots consider immediate cost cuts
Liz Fedor, Star Tribune

November 1, 2005

Northwest Airlines pilot union leaders will meet today in Bloomington to consider supporting immediate pay cuts. Union advocates of that strategy said it would give pilots more time to negotiate with management on controversial and wide-ranging elements of a new contract.
The special meeting comes as pressure to accept concessions is mounting. On Nov. 16, Northwest is set to ask a bankruptcy court judge to abrogate its labor contracts. It argues that it must dramatically and quickly cut its labor costs to reorganize.
Hal Myers, a spokesman for the Northwest branch of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), said Monday that pilots see merit in reaching a short-term agreement that would save money for the carrier.
"The big advantage is that it provides more time to negotiate what may be a more satisfactory longer-term agreement," Myers said.
Northwest management, which filed a Chapter 11 petition on Sept. 14, is attempting to reduce annual labor costs by $1.4 billion. It achieved about $300 million in savings in December when it cut compensation for salaried workers and implemented a 15 percent pay cut for union pilots. Northwest has said it reached its cost-savings goal of $203 million for maintenance workers when it imposed a new contract after the mechanics strike began Aug. 19.
Now, Northwest is trying to negotiate a second round of cuts with pilots as well as new contracts with the flight attendants, ground workers and three small unions.
During meetings today and Wednesday, ALPA leaders will discuss their options.
The pay cuts that the pilots approved in late 2004 are saving the company about $250 million.
Now, Northwest wants cutbacks worth another $358 million from the pilots union. That ranges from cuts in pay and benefits to changes in work rules and scope of flying for about 5,200 active pilots and 500 on furloughs.
In the next few weeks, Myers said, "We are not inclined to enter into an agreement without the other labor groups doing the same."
Labor is in a tough spot
All of the labor leaders are aware of the power of the bankruptcy court judge. If Northwest makes a case for rejecting its contracts at a Nov. 16 hearing, the judge would act on that motion within 30 days or grant a short extension for the parties to continue negotiating.
If the pilots and other unions accept temporary cuts, Myers said Northwest then could ask the court to postpone the hearing on abrogating contracts.
In a recent message to employees, Northwest CEO Doug Steenland called the airline's motion to reject labor contracts a "backstop" approach.
"We have not abandoned our goal of reaching consensual agreements," he said. "That remains our first priority."
There is a framework to allow the Northwest unions to act as a bloc. Leaders of Northwest's large unions -- pilots, flight attendants, ground workers -- and small unions -- dispatchers, meteorologists and technical support workers -- have been meeting in recent months as a coalition.
The Professional Flight Attendants Association (PFAA) notified its members Friday that the group of six unions met again Thursday "to further our efforts to achieve a unified approach to negotiations."
Guy Meek, PFAA president, told members that his union is attempting to keep "as many jobs as possible." Before the September bankruptcy filing, leaders from five of the six unions identified cost cuts they would submit to their members. The flight attendants union leadership did not agree to a target number, because it was seeking more financial data.
The flight attendants union has since proposed concessions to Northwest at the bargaining table. PFAA negotiators gave management a "term sheet" last week that included a 15 percent cut in hourly pay and a reduction in vacation accruals.
Leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) are scheduled to meet with Northwest management this week in Washington, D.C.
"Hopefully, we can convince NWA that our issues must be resolved at the bargaining table, not in court," the IAM told members in a Friday update.
IAM leaders said management is "posturing" in advance of the Nov. 16 hearing, but the IAM wants to "postpone that date to better the chances of reaching agreements at the bargaining table."
Liz Fedor • 612-673-7709

Copyright 2005 Star Tribune. All rights reserved​
 

mnboyev

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9/11, Sars, Bird Flu, Hurricanes, Oil Prices, LCC Competition, Pension Benefits soaring, Health care costs increasing, Aging Aircraft, ......

Well, Its sad that airline management has to 'prop up' their airline by taking money out of valued employee pockets.

Ya gots Vidal Sassoon and Suave.... Both are markets. Sell lots at a low price.... or Sell a little at a big price.... Mercedes or Ford Fiesta ??

Why the heck is NWA trying to sell Fiesta's ..... and wasting employee paychecks by flooding seats in Flint ? Please...

How much did it cost to fly that Airbus around the patch when they opened the new runway ??

NWA Management needs to manage ... Not tear apart a good carrier at the expense of the employees.
 

SWA/FO

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Seats in FNT was just to "try" and make it hard on Air Tran. Not sure it worked or is working.
 

mnboyev

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Not working... Flint is a great market for us... imagine that... lots of cigarette smoking auto workers... We love em.
 

SWA/FO

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Remeber GVA.....that place was way smokey...just like C's in MDW.
 

Ty Webb

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. . . lots of cigarette smoking auto workers... We love em.
Personally, I'm particulary fond of the super-sized pax that request the F/A to break out the Shamu harness.

That, and the pierced eyebrows. How f-ed up do you have to be to want to do that to yourself? Maybe if Chuck Yogurt was your old man it would make sense.
 
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mnboyev

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Yeah Baby.... I like Mr C's...... Just not too sure bout that dude in the wheel chair... Boy is he angry.... Talk about cigarette smoking... The fella gets all loopy and starts running into folks.....

I suppose the Wheat and Rye will be a little slow now a days... Kinda cloudy over DTW. Hope it brightens up..
 
O

OUT

seahorse said:
How about for cutting costs to instead get rid of all those nasty rude old bitchy overpaid northwest flight attendants. Bring in some young friendly ones like other airlines. And also get rid of the fags.

Hey moderators, is their anyway to get this guy banned for being an insensitive homophobe?
 

SWA/FO

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What about all those other names? No one complaining about them...yet!
 

320AV8R

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psysix said:
How senior will MSP be after the pay cuts?
Never senior enough !!!!!!!!!!!!

320AV8R
 

Icelandair

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OUT said:
Hey moderators, is their anyway to get this guy banned for being an insensitive homophobe?
Stop whining or are you afraid of someone who isn't pro homosexual the way you are?
 

Ty Webb

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"Out", meet Chuck Yogurt. Chuck, meet "Out".

Chuck is the 2005 recipient of the Bob Dole Erectile Dysfunction award, but I'm going to bet that "Out" here will make all of Chuckie's pee-pee problems go bye-bye.

Anybody as repressed as him has got to be a freaking closet case.
 
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