Monday, October 17, 2005

I don't think this is what the AMFA had in mind.

Bidness: Now Northwest on the other hand has to be grinning. Reuters version here.

The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association members struck on Aug. 20 after rejecting a contract offer that would have preserved 2,750 union jobs and given up to 26 weeks of severance to the others. Northwest promptly brought in 1,200 replacement technicians under less generous terms and managed to fly through the job action. The company also outsourced a number of jobs -- including heavy maintenance, aircraft cleaning and custodian positions -- to third-party vendors, reducing the overall number of positions it needs to fill. Last month, AMFA negotiators rejected a proposal that would have kept 1,080 jobs and given up to 16 weeks of severance pay to those who would be furloughed. Since then, Northwest has permanently hired more than 500 of the replacement mechanics and is on track to reduce its mechanic costs by more than $200 million a year. The airline, the nation's fourth-largest by traffic, later amended the terms of employment for the work group, taking away layoff protection, trimming seniority retention and deciding that the new hires don't have to join the union or pay union dues. "This is not a sellout by AMFA or your negotiating committee," the union said in a message to the strikers on Friday. "This is a chance to vote your destiny...When you look at the details, you will be hard-pressed to find anything 'good.' "
When you go from keeping 2750 people to now 500... You are not winning.

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