Northwest pilots OK strike vote

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Mellon added that the carrier would seek an immediate court injunction against any attempted strike. Both sides have been in meetings “around the clock” to settle their differences, he said. Likening the relationship between Northwest management and employees to a bad marriage, McClain testified that “People don’t divorce over one issue. It is usually a series of wrongs over a long time.” McClain later told the AP that a resolution allowing him to conduct a strike ballot was passed unanimously by the union’s 12-member master executive council Thursday evening. He said a vote by pilots could be conducted “at any time” and the ballot process takes 15 days. After 15 days, “a strike could be called within a few days,” said McClain. The judge overseeing the case, Allan Gropper, encouraged both sides to keep negotiating on Friday, the eighth and final day of hearings on Northwest’s request to do away with its employee contracts. The judge has until Feb. 16 to rule. “From my perspective, there has been a lot of progress,” he said, adding that “there is still time for more progress.” Mellon said he hoped to reach consensual agreements with both unions. Flight attendants, meanwhile, said they had received no response as of Friday from the carrier’s management to an offer they made Tuesday to give up 1,553 jobs and accept a 22.5 percent pay cut. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – Northwest Airlines pilots have given their union leader authority to conduct a strike ballot if there is no progress in negotiations over wage and benefit cuts the airline is seeking, the union head told a New York bankruptcy court Friday. Mark McClain, chairman of the pilots union’s master executive council, testified that employees do not want a strike but acrimony between the airline has grown “over time,” with many workers resenting the company’s charge that labor costs are at the root of the carrier’s problems. Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest Airlines Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, is looking for $1.4 billion in wage and benefit cuts from employees. It says it needs the cuts to emerge from bankruptcy and compete effectively with low cost carriers. “We don’t believe a strike is in the best interests of our customers, employees and the hundreds of communities we serve each day,” Northwest spokesman Bill Mellon told The Associated Press. “We believe a strike by our unions would be illegal under bankruptcy law and the Railway Labor Act.” last_img

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