NWA Says High Labor Costs Could Put it Out of Business

Northwest wants a federal judge to terminate its nine union contracts and allow the cash-strapped airline to impose lower wages on its 29,000 union workers.

Northwest on Wednesday also detailed cuts for salaried workers that will take effect in December.

Northwest eliminated merit pay raises of 2.5% that were supposed to be given Oct. 1. Northwest plans a 5% salary cut for all employees until the airline emerges from bankruptcy and increasing medical premiums for salaried workers. The same cut has been proposed to unionized employees.

Northwest points to low-cost carriers as the model for the airline's new labor structure

The company says that this year the average compensation for Northwest's employees is 62% above the average paid to employees of low-cost carriers.

If Northwest gets all of the concessions it wants, the airline's cost to carry one passenger one mile would go from 4 cents to 2.6 cents.

Detroit Free Press

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