October 25, 2006
Mesaba Workers Protest Bankruptcy Court’s Decision
to Block Strike
Rally with Mesaba Airlines Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Mechanics
MINNEAPOLIS – Northwest Airlink pilots, flight attendants, and mechanics who work for Mesaba Airlines will be joined by workers across the U.S. in demonstrations Thursday, October 26, in Minneapolis, Detroit and Memphis. The protests are designed to draw attention to a Bankruptcy Court judge’s unprecedented decision to strip them of their fundamental right to strike when management voids their contracts and imposes new terms.
In Minneapolis, employees will rally at 11:00 am CT at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, 618 Second Ave. South, before marching to the Federal Courthouse to protest en masse.
In Detroit, employees will picket in protest at the Detroit – Wayne County Metropolitan Airport from 5:00 to 6:30 pm ET.
In Memphis, employees will picket at the Memphis International Airport in protest from noon to 2:00 pm CT.
“Over the last century, the American labor movement has battled to protect fundamental worker rights of fair wages and working conditions. Without the right to strike, we would have neither,” said Captain Tom Wychor, chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l union at Mesaba. “This Bankruptcy Court has catapulted us back to pre-industrial revolution times where all that mattered was what management wanted – without any recourse for the loyal employees who built the company!”
“Today we call on all workers throughout America to join us in protesting this egregious decision – devoid of any justice – that strips workers of one of our most fundamental civil liberties,” said Nathan Winch, the Mesaba representative of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, Local 33.
Flight attendants, mechanics and pilots stand ready to go back to the negotiating table to come to consensual agreements with management to save this airline, but not at any price. The unions have offered significant wage, work rule and benefit concessions giving management the ability to restructure, attain growth, and achieve a 6 % profit margin.
“Our focus has always been on getting a deal done,” said Tim Evenson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants unit at Mesaba. “But now the court has unquestionably shifted the balance of power in management’s favor, which undermines our ability to reach a fair and equitable agreement.”
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SOURCE: Mesaba Airlines Labor Coalition
|MSP:||Kris Pierson, 612-839-0789|
|DTW:||Matthew LaViola, 734-652-8800|
|MEM:||Rob Krupinski, 901-573-7265|
|AMFA CONTACT:||Nathan Winch, 612-203-8878|
|AFA CONTACT:||Carla Rogat, 612-801-4141|