Northwest Airlines says it's
grounded two dozen of its aircraft and laid off 130 mechanics. The
airline said it's now looking at further downsizing its technical
workforce and could soon lay off another 700-800 mechanics.
The 130 mechanics laid off from the company's Minneapolis-St.
Paul, MN, hub, were generally associated with maintaining the
DC-9s. In contrast, Northwest's newer Airbus A319s are about
30-percent more fuel efficient. The airline says it will close the
heavy maintenance shop at Minneapolis-St. Paul International
The move comes as Northwest and its mechanics' union are in
contract negotiations. Local union president Ted Ludwig said the
threat of up to 800 more mechanic layoffs may be nothing more than
a negotiating tactic. Still, since 2000, the airline has laid off a
total of 3,700 mechanics.
The ALPA says grounding the 24 aircraft means about 60 NWA
pilots who were to be recalled will remain on furlough.