Wed, May 03, 2006
Over 63 Percent Of Pilots Voted For Deal
Calling the agreement "a
painful but necessary part of a successful restructuring of
Northwest Airlines," ALPA Master Executive Council Chairman Mark
McClain issued a statement Wednesday morning to announce that, by a
63 percent majority, pilots at Northwest have voted to ratify their
new five-and-a-half year contract with the airline.
The Street.com reports the contract -- which will cut pilots'
pay by 23.9 percent but will also insure that Northwest's mainline
pilots will continue to fly aircraft with over 77 seats, staving
off some concern about a new regional subsidiary -- is expected to
cut the carrier's expenses by as much as $358 million annually.
That's a significant step toward's Northwest's plan to emerge from
Along with Delta Air Lines, Northwest filed for Chapter 11
protection last September. Delta's pilots are expected to vote on their own
tentative deal in the next few weeks.
"Now is the time for Northwest pilots to unite and begin looking
forward to our company's successful emergence from bankruptcy,"
McClain said. "Our goal in negotiations was to provide contract
changes which addressed Northwest's needs, but also provided
security for Northwest pilot jobs."
"Our negotiators did a
remarkable job preventing Northwest management's excessive
small-jet demands and retaining merger and fragmentation rights for
Northwest pilots," added McClain, who last week successfully fought off a recall
vote tied to union members' angst over pay and
benefits cuts that some see as harsher than those pilots at Delta
will have to face.
With the new contract, Northwest pilots will receive an
unsecured $888 million claim against the airline, and will also
participate in a profit-sharing plan once the company exits Chapter
The contract also limits the number of aircraft with 51 to 76
seats that Northwest's new regional subsidiary Compass can operate
with outsourced pilots to 55 planes, or 90 if the planes are placed
at an affiliate operation.
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