Release #06.NWA8
February 28, 2006

Northwest Pilots Authorize Strike

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- One day before Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper is scheduled to rule on NWA managementís request to reject the NWA pilot contract, the Air Line Pilots Association, Intíl (ALPA) announced that NWA pilots have authorized a strike if management imposes onerous working conditions on the pilot group. Northwest pilots overwhelmingly voted to authorize their union leaders, by a 92.16 percent margin, to utilize all legal self-help options up to and including a strike.

"We continue to meet with Northwest management in an effort to reach a consensual agreement, but the outcome will be decided by management's actions at the negotiating table," NWA ALPA Chairman Capt. Mark McClain said. "Our goal is not to strike, but we will retain all legal self-help options if management forces our hand."

Over the past year, NWA pilots have made significant sacrifices in an attempt to help save their airline. 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 which included an additional 23.9% pay cut. First-year NWA pilots earn $27,000 per year, while 25-year veteran captains may earn up to $160,000. 

"Northwest pilots have given historical sacrifices to help save our company, but management continues to overreach by demanding even more," Capt. McClain said. "I have told Northwest management on many occasions not to misjudge the will of the Northwest pilot group. There is only so much Northwest pilots can and will do. Hopefully, today's strike authorization results provide Northwest management with a much needed reality check."

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 62,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents approximately 5,000 active NWA pilots and 700 furloughed NWA pilots. Visit the ALPA website at and the NWA ALPA website at

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SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association, Intíl
CONTACT: Will Holman, 612-840-7749