Release #06.MSA12
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.

“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.”

# # #

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