Northwest Airlines flight attendants reject wage cuts - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Northwest Airlines flight attendants reject wage cuts

Northwest Airlines Corp. flight attendants rejected a pay cut package on Tuesday, setting up a possible showdown with the nation's fifth-largest carrier.

The Professional Flight Attendants Association said 80 percent of its members voted against the wage-cut deal.

Northwest had said previously that it would have the right to impose its terms on flight attendants if the tentative agreement was rejected. However, before the vote ended Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch declined to say whether the airline would impose terms, or if so, how quickly it would act.

"PFAA is prepared to immediately return to negotiations with the company in order to reach a fair and equitable agreement as soon as possible," union President Guy Meek said in a hotline message to members.

He said the union reserves the right to strike. A strike ballot won support from 92 percent of union members in February.

Northwest wants savings worth $195 million a year from flight attendants, as part of $1.4 billion in concessions from all its workers.

It has permanent deals in place with all but the flight attendants and the union representing baggage handlers and ramp workers, who are voting through this week on their own pay-cut deal. Their ballots will be counted on Friday.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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