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Northwest Flight Attendants Postpone Plans to Strike

From the Associated Press

Flight attendants at Northwest Airlines Corp. said they would delay a threatened strike by 10 days because of security concerns stemming from the alleged terrorist plot in London.

A judge had not yet ruled on a request to block a strike from the Eagan, Minn.-based carrier, which is in bankruptcy protection.

The Assn. of Flight Attendants had threatened to begin random, unannounced strikes Tuesday night after Northwest imposed new pay and work rules on flight attendants without their consent. Flight attendants twice voted down negotiated agreements with the nation’s fifth-largest airline.

Flight attendants said Friday that the new deadline would be 9:01 p.m. CDT Aug. 25.

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It calls its strike tactic CHAOS, for Create Havoc Around Our System.

“Present security concerns take precedence over all other concerns at this time, including our fight for a fair contract and our preparations for CHAOS,” said Mollie Reiley, of the union’s Northwest branch.

“In order to devote our full attention to the immediate security situation, and to reduce the stress level for flight attendants until the initial reaction of the security news subsides, we have decided to extend our strike deadline by 10 days,” she said.

Northwest had said it was willing to negotiate again with flight attendants, although it said any deal would still have to meet a goal of $195 million a year in labor savings. No talks have been scheduled.

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The carrier has maintained that any strike would be illegal and had asked a bankruptcy judge in New York to block such an action.


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