Possible strike threatens Northwest employees and travelers

"We don't want to strike but we will!"

Union flight attendants with Northwest Airlines are prepared to create chaos over their latest contract.

Angie Gilluly, Northwest Flight Attendant, says "Chaos stands for create havoc around our system it is a very strategic strike maneuver."

That's not what travelers in Memphis waiting to board Northwest Flights wanted to hear.

Eudora Mississippi resident Tamala Stroh says, "I depend on the attendants very much."

Iowa resident Donna Grady says, "You've got to have someone you can depend on at least to help you."

Anything that would slow down airline productivity could put the brakes on the Memphis economy!  The Northwest hub helped make Memphis International Airport the largest economic generator in the state of Tennessee.

Michael Minor with LeMoyne Owen College says, "So that put Memphis on the map it gives us more flights departing flights arriving flights than any other city of our size."

An attribute the region can't afford to lose.

Minor continues, "I also think about our prestige without having Northwest as a hub, it would just take a lot away from our city."

And, experts say, the airport authority would be hard pressed to find a replacement.  Union flight attendants hope it doesn't come to that.

"Hopefully our management will come back to the table and negotiate with us, we want something that's fair and livable, not obscene," Gilluly continues.

Successful negotiations could impact an entire community...because a busy airline means a busy airport -- and one in 4 Mid-South jobs depends on it.