Fri, Aug 04, 2006
T-Minus 11 Days To 'CHAOS'
Can union members strike against an
airline in bankruptcy? That question will have its day in court...
as Northwest Airlines files suit against the Association of Flight
Attendants over the union's 15-day strike notification.
"A strike by the AFA would threaten the continued viability of
Northwest's reorganization, cause severe disruption to Northwest's
customers, and interfere with interstate commerce," Northwest
lawyer Kent Yalowitz said in a complaint filed with the US
Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan Tuesday night, according to
The AFA warned Northwest it would stage various job actions --
including local and widespread strikes, as part of the union's
"Create Havoc Around Our System" work stoppage plan -- after
members voted down the company's latest offer, and Northwest
imposed a new contract on them. Current plans call for those
actions to begin August 15.
Lawyers for the airline say striking Northwest while it's in
Chapter 11 violates the federal Railway Labor Act. As you might
imagine, the AFA maintains it doesn't. The truth is... this is
something that's probably never been tested in court.
But Northwest is clear about one thing. A flight attendants'
strike would cripple the airline -- perhaps beyond salvage -- and
put 34,000 jobs at risk.
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