Labor Unrest in the Air?

Northwest Airlines was able to gain voluntary pay and benefit reductions that would save the airline $332 million annually from its pilots and flight attendants. Negotiations with the International Association of Machinists have not progressed as well.

Northwest filed a Section 1113(e) motion with the bankruptcy court to impose a $114 million temporary wage and benefit reduction on machinists.

At Delta Air Lines, pilots represented by the Airline Pilots Association offered the airline nearly $91 million in cuts. Pilots rejected attempts by the airline to void the pilot contract.

FedEx pilots, in their 20th month of contract negotiations, set up informational picket lines. The pilots’ union said the company had failed to address legitimately the pilots’ concerns and, instead, requested National Mediation Board (NMB) assistance. According to the pilots, bringing in the NMB has brought the two parties closer to confrontation.

UPS pilots claim the company breached their contract by subcontracting flying Menlo freight into 2006. The company violated a contractual deadline for integrating the traffic from Menlo Worldwide Forwarding into the UPS system, according to the Independent Pilots Assocation. The two are in their fourth year of contract negotiations.

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