Northwest flight attendants hold Labor Day rally - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Northwest flight attendants hold Labor Day rally

At a union organized picnic/labor rally at Audubon Park Monday afternoon, Northwest Airlines flight attendants, still waiting to find out if they can strike, said they will not give up the fight against the company's new work rules and pay cuts.

"I've been a flight attendant for 39 years, that's a long time to suddenly go back to 1970's wages and benefits," said flight attendant Karen Ellis.

Northwest has been seeking pay and benefit cuts as it reorganizes under federal bankruptcy protection.

Flight attendants, unhappy with the cuts, have threatened random walkouts aimed at pressuring the airline to offer them a better deal.  Attendants at Monday's picnic said the company's cuts are forcing them to make sacrifices that affect their families.

"They have to choose between car payment or house payment," Ellis said. "It's sad."

It's a conflict that other Northwest labor groups are keeping a close eye on.

"This is a wake up call to Northwest Airlines that the rest of its employees are going to support flight attendants," said Northwest ramp worker Roy Moen. "Their fight has become our ."

Workers hope their united front will pay off in the form of a new contract for flight attendants.

U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero in New York has temporarily blocked all job actions in the Northwest case, and has not said when he'll make a final decision about whether the attendants can strike.

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