Cutting their nose off to spite their face
CBS News | Mechanics Walk Out On Northwest | August 20, 2005 19:26:18
: "After months of talks broke off in Washington just before midnight Friday, union negotiator Jim Young said the mechanics would rather see the airline go into bankruptcy than agree to Northwest's terms. The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association represents 4,427 mechanics, cleaners and custodians, about 11 percent of Northwest's 40,000 employees.
The mechanics average about $70,000 a year in pay, and the cleaners and custodians can make around $40,000. The company wanted to cut their wages by about 25 percent as part of a package to save it $176 million a year.
But it also wanted to lay off about 2,000 workers, almost halving a workforce that is already half the size it was in 2001. And the cuts would be concentrated among the cleaners and custodians. Northwest has said that other airlines get that work done more cheaply with contractors.
Mike Tyrna, an aircraft cleaner for Northwest for 16 years, said union members had no choice but to strike. "