Northwest Flight Attendants Threaten to Strike


#1

Airline Asks Court To Prevent Walkout

Story here at WashingtonPost.com
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/01/AR2006080100590.html

Related story from yesterday:
Northwest Attendants Reject Contract
Airline’s Plan to Cut Wages May Lead to Strike:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/31/AR2006073100777.html


#2

Love the choices!


#3

This is looking more & more like a “made for T.V.” labor issue every day. I think both sides are trying to throw their leverage into essentially the same logic; the airline wants the attendants to think that it must make these cuts or it, along with their jobs, will cease to exist. The FAs want to play the “If we strike, the damage will destroy what’s left of this airline, so pay up, and cut somewhere else” card.
Advantage? Probably the flight attendants:
As we hear more and more corporate greed stories in the news every single day, we realize that the suits in even struggling companies are rolling in HUGE bonus checks, expense accounts, “personal favors” from other uppity-ups, and, oh yeah, their actual paychecks. I don’t do the books for NWA, but I’m willing to bet that there are some big checks being written to some folks in corporate, and I’m not even saying this is wrong, but it’s all about PR and media image. The FAs can use the media to their advantage (kinda like Hezbollah! :smiling_imp: :smiling_imp: ), and plaster every corporate salary across T.V. and computer screens worldwide to show how much $$ goes into the pockets of so few. Not only will the media image be tarnished, but an actual strike would hurt pretty bad, no matter how much NWA tries to play it off. There will probably be a settlement, which is the ultimate goal of the union anyway.
*Plus, the FAs know that in a worst-case scenario, a dead Northwest means that other airlines would surely scavenge their aircraft and many employees as well, so quite a few would still be employed, most likely by an airline in fairly good financial standing (There are still a few of those around, I think).


#4

The Delta pilots thing a few months ago was a very different situation. Delta pilots were among the highest-paid in the industry before their contract negotiations and would still make fairly decent money with management’s planned cuts.

Northwest’s flight attendants don’t make much to begin with, and they’re talking about tremendous pay-cuts as well as a substantial reduction in healthcare benefits. I think I gotta go with the flight atendants’ side on this one. I think there’s enough of them that really don’t stand to lose much if they lose their jobs, compared to what they lose with management’s cuts.

They have enough power to bring the airline to its knees if enough of them get with the program. I’m thinking that since neither party is seeking talks right now, this thing’s gonna come down to the wire. Management seems to have a “take-it-or-leave-it” attitude with their plans, so I think it’ll go to the point of major disruptions in service which’ll get management to come to its senses…

…just my 2


#5

Northwest files appeal to block strike
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060818/ap_on_bi_ge/northwest_flight_attendants

Looks like this is going to come down to the last minute! If their appeal is denied, management will have nine hours to decide to backdown or watch the flight attendants strike. So it looks like options 5 & 6 for the poll no longer apply.


#6

Deadline day is here! I will be watching with interest… http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b8/CheckM8/sig_popcorn.gif


#7

Judge blocks Northwest employees’ strike:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060825/ap_on_bi_ge/northwest_flight_attendants

The judge urged the parties to resume negotiations and said he will give them until Wednesday to tell him whether fruitful talks are possible…


#8

Then what? We’re right back where we started?
P.S. I love the popcorn emoticon.


#9

Guess so. They’ve had three weeks to engage in “fruitful talks”. :unamused:

Sounds like management is dragging its heels coming to the table. They don’t want to bargain - they just wanna do away with the flight attendants’ contract and hope the legal system allows them to do it.


#10

Well, there are also a finite number of ways to say “You’re going to take $195 million in pay cuts.” NW gave them two options. The FA respond “Sure we’ll talk, but we’re not taking $195 million in pay cuts.” It’s kind of like Iran- we say “You’re going to stop enrichment” and Iran says “Sure we’ll talk, but we’re not going to stop enrichment.”

A side of me just wishes they’d strike, drive NW into the ground and liquidate, simply to get this over with. Then the flight attendants (and other unions) get their way by winning the battle of contract disputes. I say this as someone with Thanksgiving and Christmas reservations on NW. The entire union thing just gets old.