Attendants secure Northwest bargaining deal

Northwest Airlines has said that its flight attendants, represented by
the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have ratified a new
collective bargaining agreement.
Doug Steenland, Northwest Airlines president and chief executive
officer, said, “As Northwest Airlines prepares to exit bankruptcy
later this week, we are pleased that we have now reached ratified
collective bargaining agreements with all of our unions. In
particular, we are pleased that the flight attendants will be able to
share in the success of the restructuring by receiving a claim in the
Northwest bankruptcy case.”

  As part of the new agreement, flight attendants will receive a
$182 million unsecured claim in the airline’s bankruptcy. This claim
will be sold for cash which will be distributed to flight attendants
upon the company’s emergence from Chapter 11. The agreement also
includes additional contract modifications designed to improve the
flight attendants’ work environment.

  “We deeply appreciate the tireless efforts of the National
Mediation Board and its staff, who participated throughout these
negotiations and aided the parties in reaching this agreement,”
Steenland continued.

  “I realize that the past 20 months have been a difficult period
for our employees and I want to thank them for their hard work and
sacrifices that helped Northwest complete its restructuring. I am
pleased that our employees are seeing the benefits of the
restructuring already in the forms of unsecured claims and profit
sharing. We hope to be able to share with our employees some $1.6
billion in unsecured claims and profit sharing payments through 2010.”

  “We are also pleased to be able to make distributions of Northwest
common stock to holders of the company’s Series C preferred stock,”
Steenland concluded. Series C stock was granted to Northwest employees
as part of previous labor agreements.

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  Since beginning its restructuring process in September 2005,
Northwest has remained focused on its goals to achieve a competitive
cost structure, develop a more efficient business model and
recapitalize its balance sheet. Earlier this month, the company
received permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York to exit bankruptcy. On May 9, Northwest announced
that 98.4 percent of the dollar amount of claims that voted and 96.9
percent of the airline’s creditors who voted, approved the Northwest
Plan of Reorganization.

  Northwest expects that it will emerge from Chapter 11 protection
on May 31, once all closing conditions of the Plan have been met and
the company’s $750 million new equity rights offering has been funded.
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