Northwest Airlines has joined the International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers’ National Pension Plan by making its first
employer contribution, $3,314,623, on behalf of the airline’s
IAM-represented employees.NWA’s participation fulfills a commitment
made during its restructuring to make new investments in the defined
contribution pension plan.
“Our restructuring asked a great deal from our people; because of
their commitment, we’re in a financial position to deliver on our
promise to invest in our employees’ future,” said Doug Steenland,
president and chief executive officer of Northwest Airlines. “Today’s
contribution underscores both the effectiveness of our restructuring
efforts and our prospects for the future.”
Today’s action is part of an overall commitment that, upon
successful emergence from bankruptcy, the airline would begin making
employer contributions (a percentage of eligible pay) to employees’
401(k) plans or certain pension plans. With the flexibility to choose,
IAM employees opted for participation in the union’s National Pension
Plan. This new benefit is in addition to the work done during
restructuring to preserve the airline’s pre-Chapter 11 pension plans.
In making today’s announcement, Steenland reiterated the airline’s
desire to work with employees and their collective bargaining
representatives to find cost-neutral ways to improve NWA’s work
environment and employees’ quality of life. In 2007, the Company has
taken steps to deliver on this commitment by distributing more than
$30 million of profit-sharing and nearly $9 million of performance
incentive payments. Northwest also has made improvements to various
work rules, employee pass travel programs and other benefits.
In addition, at the beginning of August, Northwest reached a
cost-neutral, productive agreement with pilots on work rules, which
restored premium pay. NWA also created a cash incentive program for
good employee attendance during peak summer travel time for customers.
Further, the airline has invited representatives of all of its
workgroups to discuss cost-neutral ways to improve employees’ work
environment and address quality-of-life issues.