AUGUST 30, 2002—Milwaukee—Flights attendants for Midwest Express Airlines today began a strike against the air carrier after labor negotiations broke down late last night.
The airline`s 465 flight attendants initiated what they call CHAOS, or Create Havoc Around Our System, in which they will strike selected flights or the whole system unannounced and for unspecified periods of time.
The tactic is designed to cause uncertainty among Midwest`s passengers and management—and thus maximum disruption of Midwest`s operations without a sustained, mass walkout by flight attendants.
Midwest issued a statement early today that it has developed contingency plans and is “fully prepared to take the action necessary to deliver safe, uninterrupted service for Midwest Express passengers.”
But Toni Phillips president of the Association of Flight Attendants Midwest Express Master Executive Council, which represents the flight attendants, said, “Management can`t possibly cover a strike of every flight out of Milwaukee one day, or an unannounced strike of every flight into Kansas City. We`ll strike without warning. We won`t say when or where.”
Midwest flies to destinations around the 48 contiguous states from the Midwest. The flight attendants are expected to target the airline`s top markets, including the heavily traveled routes between Milwaukee, the airline`s base, and New York`s LaGuardia Airport; Kansas City, Mo., and LaGuardia; and Milwaukee and Boston.
The union posted a list of Midwest`s top 100 markets and other airlines that fly those routes at www.afanet.org/ME.