Sun, Nov 21, 2004
President of Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association Local 33
says they are "smoking something funny"
Jack Atkinson has
replied to the proposal given to the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal
Association's local 33, which represents more than 5,000 Northwest
Airlines cleaners and mechanics. In comments made to the Twin
Cities Pioneer Press, Atkinson said "It's just ridiculous. If this
is a serious proposal from them, they need to implement some type
of random drug testing over at Building A, headquarters. They must
be smoking something funny."
The comments were made in response to a contract proposal from
the airline that would reportedly eliminate closed shops, send more
aircraft maintenance to contractors and reduce pensions, among
"In most cases, the changes sought are similar to those in
place, or being pursued, at carriers that compete with the
company," said Northwest's VP Labor Relations, Julie Hagen Showers,
in a letter the airline sent to the union. "...it is imperative
that the parties begin bargaining in earnest."
The union was not
pleased with the proposal, and minced no words in saying so. In
particular, a proposal to remove restrictions on layoffs raised
hackles at the union hall. The restrictions currently in place do
not allow layoffs except in reaction to extraordinary events such
Negotiations are expected to resume on December 8. The company
is intent on implementing its goal of reducing its yearly costs for
mechanics and cleaners by $170 million yearly through pay cuts.
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