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.
Northwest wants a federal judge to terminate its nine union contracts.
Northwest Airlines is seeking court approval to reject contracts with its pilots, flight attendants, ground workers and other employees.
A short-term agreement would give the two sides more time to negotiate a long-term deal outside of bankruptcy court.
Because its competitors have found ways to shed labor costs, Detroit Metro Airport's dominant carrier now has the highest labor costs in the industry and is one of the last to extract hundreds of...