Northwest flight attendants reject contract

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Northwest Airlines Flight Attendants Tuesday rejected a new contract that would have provided the carrier with $195 million in annual work rule, benefit and salary concessions.

“The Flight Attendants understood how harsh and unfair the bankruptcy process can be to loyal employees. The company went too far,” said Professional Flight Attendant Association President Guy Meek. “The Flight Attendants rejected this contract and continue to reject the continuing mismanagement of the airline as well as the everyday mistreatment of NWA employees.”

The vote was 1,270 on favor, 5,195 against, the union said.

Given this negative vote, PFAA and the carrier await the ruling of a federal judge on NWA’s application to abrogate and modify the Flight Attendants’ contract. After a contested trial in bankruptcy court, the bankruptcy judge is set to rule on NWA’s application.

“We continue to urge the judge to deny NWA’s application to reject our contract. The carrier’s proposals are harsh and overreaching. They are misguided attempts by NWA management. The last two months NWA posted a profit, but in court they continue their relentless pick-pocketing of its loyal Flight Attendant workforce,” Meek said.

Meek continued that the Flight Attendants have given the union’s leadership its “marching orders” with regard to the rejected contract.

“First, the members want us to try to renegotiate a fair agreement, not an onerous one. Items such as duration, sick leave, vacation, and ground time are at the top of our renegotiating list,” Meek said. “Next, if NWA modifies our contract, with or without court approval, PFAA will seek to implement its full legal rights to self help guaranteed under law.”

PFAA, which represents 9,300 NWA Flight Attendants, views the rejection of the contract as the new starting point for Flight Attendants to launch a corporate campaign to reclaim and rebuild their profession.

“The bankruptcies at NWA, Delta, United, USAirways and America West eroded the foundation of the Flight Attendant profession. PFAA has drawn the line in the sand and intends to turn this disturbing trend around,” Meek said.

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