Acting on a resolution by the Northwest Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association Int’l requesting financial assistance, ALPA’s Executive Council has granted
the Northwest pilot group up to $10 million from the union’s Major Contingency Fund.ALPA’s Executive Board is expected to approve the funding on an expedited
basis. The $10 million will assist in contingency preparations for defense of
NWA pilots’ jobs, wages and working conditions in the event the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court authorizes rejection of ALPA’s collective bargaining
agreement with Northwest and the company unilaterally implements terms and
conditions of pilot employment.
ALPA is currently presenting its case in the 1113(c) hearing to persuade
the bankruptcy judge that rejection of the NWA pilot contract is not warranted
given NWA pilots’ recent concessions and fair contract proposals. Northwest
pilots have already taken a 39 percent pay cut, agreed to higher medical
costs, offered to fly small jet aircraft at industry standard rates, and
frozen their pension plan saving the company hundreds of millions of dollars
The 1113(c) hearing is expected to conclude on approximately Feb. 2, 2006
and under the statute the judge has a deadline of no later than Feb. 16, 2006
to issue a decision unless the company and ALPA agree to extend that deadline.
In the event the judge authorizes NWA management to reject the NWA pilot
contract, Northwest pilots would have the right to strike. In preparation for
this possibility, the $10 million pledge will be used to escalate contingency
planning for strike activity, increased communications, rallies and other
strategic preparedness activities.
NWA management continues to make unreasonable demands on its pilots.
Management’s current proposals for pilot job protections, wages, working
conditions, and benefits would set new lows for pilots at comparable U.S. air
carriers. Without significant movement by NWA management in its bargaining
positions, a consensual agreement meeting the requirements of NWA pilots is
“We do not want to strike; we want to reach a fair consensual agreement
with NWA management. Unfortunately, Northwest management is forcing our hand
so we must be ready for all possibilities,” MEC Chairman Mark McClain said.
“ALPA’s financial support, along with the support of all 62,000 ALPA pilots,
will guarantee our pilot group is fully prepared.”