Northwest Airlines reaches tentative deal with flight attendants

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Northwest Airlines Corp. reached a tentative agreement with flight attendants on Monday, a union official said.

The news came on the same day that Northwest could have imposed a new contract that had drawn strike threats from the union.

Sean Fivecoat, the secretary-treasurer for the Northwest branch of the Association of Flight Attendants, said negotiators made the agreement around 9:20 a.m. EDT after bargaining all night.

He said the deal includes a provision that it come to a vote by the rank-and-file quickly. He declined to discuss any details of the agreement.

The deal comes on the day a bankruptcy judge had told Northwest it could impose a contract that 80% of flight attendants had rejected last month.

The union had threatened to strike if that happened, putting the financially precarious airline in even more danger.

Northwest had been seeking $195 million a year in savings from flight attendants, through wage cuts and work rule changes.

Flight attendants were the last union at Northwest without a new contract.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-07-17-06 1035EDT