Northwest mechanics begin contract vote today - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Northwest mechanics begin contract vote today

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Striking mechanics at bankrupt Northwest Airlines begin voting today on what the head of their union calls "the worst contract in the history of airline labor." The voting continues through the end of the year.

Northwest operated passenger hubs in Minneapolis, Memphis and Detroit.

The contract would move striking members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association to laid-off status, making them eligible for four weeks of layoff pay and payment of accrued vacation time.

If union members approve the contract and the strike ends, the strikers could get six months of unemployment benefits and would have priority for open mechanic's jobs at the airline. But the union leaders predict only a fraction would be recalled.

Union leader O.V. Delle-Femine has told members that ratification of the contract would be a grave disservice to union members.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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