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Old 08-25-2006, 03:08 PM   #1
john225
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Judge blocks Northwest employees' strike By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
15 minutes ago



NEW YORK - A federal judge blocked Northwest Airlines flight attendants from going on strike Friday, handing a victory to the airline just hours before a planned walkout that could have devastated the cash-strapped company.




U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said he will issue an injunction to allow time for him to examine the case. He said Northwest made a "persuasive case" that a delay in any strike was necessary so that the legal issues could be resolved.

He said that while the injury to flight attendants would be to delay their ability to strike, "far greater injuries exist to Northwest and the public by permitting the strike to commence at this point."

Northwest Airlines Corp., already operating under bankruptcy protection, has said a strike could kill it.

Northwest has about 7,300 active flight attendants. The workers are angry that the company imposed pay cuts and work rules that the rank-and-file had rejected.

The case is complicated, involving obscure labor law provisions. A key question, however, is: Can airline employees walk off the job after management unilaterally cut their pay and changed their work rules?

The flight attendants had set 10 p.m. EDT Friday as the deadline to begin walkouts. In preparation, the Association of Flight Attendants said it has held classes to train its members on its "CHAOS" strike strategy, for "create havoc around our system."

The union has said firing those who strike would be illegal.

Northwest has said it has backup plans in case of a walkout, but officials have not said if they have lined up replacement workers.

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Old 08-25-2006, 03:13 PM   #2
DenaLou
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Check out the NW flight attendant's website:
http://www.nwaafa.org/
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:14 PM   #3
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I think this is a terrible blow to workers right to collectively bargin. It is not about the implacations it would have on NWA. This sets a precident that I am sure the other airline will exploit if the final ruling is not in favor of the workers.
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(pezmanffx @ Aug 25 2006, 04:14 PM) [snapback]35577[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
I think this is a terrible blow to workers right to collectively bargin. It is not about the implacations it would have on NWA. This sets a precident that I am sure the other airline will exploit if the final ruling is not in favor of the workers.
[/b]
Whether this injunction issued by the federal judge is right or wrong, there is some precendent in the US Federal Bankruptcy Court for the imposition of a contract on a union. If I remember right, very close to home, in the airline industry, the Bankruptcy Court voided the machinist's contract with US Air, and was apparently ready to impose a new contract if it wasn't for a settlement. Delphi and its unions are currently in a similar battle with the hearing set to start again next month, after a series of postponements. Apparently, this point of law will now be fought in two courtrooms at the same time. I have little doubt any decision in these cases, especially if different, will be taken all the way to the Supreme Court. With the Supreme Court's new "conservative" bent it will be interesting to see how it eventually deals with these issues. If I were a union member I would definitely be worried.
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