NWA's Flight Attendants Wooed by Second Rival Union

As bankrupt Northwest Airlines gets ready to seek court-imposed wage cuts for its 10,000 flight attendants, yet another union is angling to represent them.

Typically, getting the signatures required to get an election takes many months. And the National Mediation Board must verify the cards before calling an election.

Should two or more unions try to dethrone the PFAA, there would be many challenges about the validity of union representation cards, said John Budd, a professor of human resources at the University of Minnesota.

The union turmoil among flight attendants also might help Northwest make its case for a court-imposed contract.

"Northwest can go back to the judge and say, 'It's not our fault that there's turmoil among these unions,' " he said. "So, it might be easier for the bankruptcy judge to say, 'Yeah, it's a mess. So, I'll approve these cuts.' I doubt the judge will let the turmoil affect the creditors."

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