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Northwest Workers Reject Surrender

by staff |
January 2, 2006

Minneapolis, MN - Members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) will continue their strike against Northwest Airlines. In a vote tallied Dec. 30, more than 70% of striking AMFA members who were eligible to vote overwhelming rejected Northwest’s latest offer. The offer amounted to four weeks severance pay and allowed some workers to collect unemployment benefits. The scabs who are currently doing AMFA work would have remained.

AMFA National Director O.V. Delle-Femine said of the rejection vote, “This is a victory for AMFA members and for unionism. Our striking members refused to bow down to Northwest’s arrogant, self-enriching management and will continue the strike against this renegade, union-busting airline.” He also noted that the failure of other unions at Northwest to back AMFA emboldened the corporation to try to extract huge concessions from pilots, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and flight attendants.

Northwest Airlines is currently in bankruptcy proceedings and, like other airline corporations, is using the courts as weapons against airline unions.

The period ahead will be challenging for all Northwest workers. Many rank-and-file Northwest workers have voiced support for AMFA and some have refused to cross AMFA picket lines. This is despite the lack of solidarity, and in some cases outright hostility, shown by the leadership of the IAM and others. AMFA has made it clear that it supports the fight of all other unions in their battles with Northwest.

The courage and determination shown by AMFA serves as a positive example for Northwest workers in particular and the labor movement in general.

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