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Thu, Sep 15, 2005

AMFA: Northwest Management 'Desperate'

Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) National Director O.V. Delle-Femine is saying that Northwest Airlines is increasingly desperate and has escalated its behind-the-scenes campaign to persuade AMFA members to return to work.

"Publicly, Northwest must maintain the deception that operations are normal and AMFA members are no longer needed. Behind the scenes, Northwest management has launched an escalating campaign of letter-writing and calls to our members' homes to urge them to come back," he said.

"Northwest's contingency plan counted on a substantial percentage of AMFA members crossing the picket lines by now to rescue the unsustainable combination of overworked managers and under-trained strikebreakers. Northwest is naive to think that substantial numbers of AMFA members will cross the lines to save management's bacon. That's not going to happen."

"Northwest's on-time performance remains far below normal, even after the airline curtailed its flight schedule, reset "normal" to 68 percent on-time performance from historical levels of ten percentage points or more higher than that, and manipulated the system to hide as many actual delays and cancellations as possible," Delle-Femine said.

"Besides that, Northwest's stock price keeps dropping, the company is approaching bankruptcy, and a maintenance safety investigation is looming by the Department of Transportation's Inspector General's office. Northwest management is up against the wall," he said.

Delle-Femine responded to speculation that AMFA might have been better off accepting Northwest's final pre-strike offer by noting that "Northwest was well aware that both that offer and the most recent one were so draconian that neither one stood a chance of being accepted by our members. Hypothetically, if AMFA had accepted the earlier offer, Northwest would have come back right away for more anyway, so it would have made absolutely no difference."

AMFA's craft union represents aircraft maintenance technicians and related support personnel at Alaska Airlines, ATA, Horizon Air, Independence Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

FMI: www.amfanatl.org

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