Northwest says it's business as usual

Eighteen hours into the Northwest mechanics' strike and there is no sign of a resolution.

According to a company labor relations executive, no talks are scheduled between the financially troubled airline and its mechanics, who called a strike at 11:01 central time Friday night.

Union members were picketing at Memphis International Airport first thing this morning. Northwest says Saturday operations were running on time, smoothly and safely.

"The airline remains in full compliance with all FAA safety regulations and, as always, safety remains our primary concern," said Andy Roberts, the airline's vice president of operations.

Northwest is utilizing 350 management licensed employees and some 1,200 licensed contract mechanics. Roberts says many of them have 14 years of experience and they're all fully licensed and trained to work on the aircraft that Northwest operates.

A spokesman for the airline says Northwest's last offer to the union was fair, given the difficult economic circumstances it faces. They say the company has been preparing for the strike for more than a year and a half.