Release #05.NWA6
December 30, 2005

Northwest Airlines Pilots to Picket in MSP

Bloomington, Minn. --- Northwest Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association Int'l (ALPA), will demonstrate their displeasure with managementís contract demands by conducting informational picketing and leafleting from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4 on the ticketing level at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport Lindbergh Terminal. 

NWA pilots will display their continuing frustration with managementís demands for excessive pay cuts, benefit reductions, work rule changes and its proposal to outsource all jobs on aircraft with 100 seats or less to a new subsidiary airline (Newco). Over 1,000 NWA pilot jobs would be lost as DC-9 aircraft are retired and replaced via management's Newco outsourcing scheme.

"I continue to warn Northwest management that its Newco proposal is unacceptable," NWA ALPA Chairman Capt. Mark McClain said. "Northwest pilots have already made huge sacrifices to help our company with its financial problems. We will not sacrifice pilot careers for a flying job at a start up airline that may be sold off in the near future."

Over the past year, NWA pilots have made tremendous sacrifices in an attempt to help NWA survive its financial problems. In December 2004, Northwest pilots agreed to an annual concessionary package valued at $265 million a year that included a 15 percent pay cut. In November 2005, Northwest pilots agreed to another concessionary package, for an interim period, valued at $215 million including an additional 23.9% pay cut. 

NWA pilots are now, as a result of the interim agreement, paid less than pilots flying comparable equipment at Southwest, American, Continental, Delta, United and even Air Tran. Yet, management is still demanding another $145 million a year in concessions, plus the ability to outsource all jobs on aircraft with 100 seats or less as well as other NWA flying. 

The bankruptcy court has scheduled the 1113(c) hearing to commence on Jan. 17, 2006. If an agreement with management has not been reached by that time, the bankruptcy judge will rule by February 16, 2006 on NWA's request to reject the pilot contract. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement and the bankruptcy judge allows management to impose new terms of employment, NWA pilots could strike.

"Northwest pilots want to reach a fair agreement with management, but we will not agree to management's unnecessary outsourcing, pay cut, and other contract reduction demands," Capt. McClain said. "Our significant sacrifices were made to save Northwest and our jobs. Why save the airline if we can't save our jobs?"

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 63,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. At NWA, ALPA represents approximately 5,000 active pilots and 700 furloughed pilots. Visit the ALPA website at and the NWA ALPA website at

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SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), ALPA CONTACT: Will Holman, 612-840-7749