Mesaba Airlines May Seek Court Order to Keep Mechanics On the Job

Concerned that its mechanics may stay off the job with their colleagues at Northwest Airlines, regional carrier Mesaba Airlines said Tuesday it may seek a court order to keep them working.

Eagan, Minn.-based Mesaba operates as Northwest Airlink, and flies about 600 daily flights to 119 cities in 24 states. In the Twin Cities, it handles Northwest's regional flying along with Memphis, Tenn.-based Pinnacle Airlines.

Mesaba mechanics also are represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, but they operate under a separate agreement from Northwest. Last week, AMFA said union leaders at the carrier and seven other airlines had authorized unspecified job actions that would support Northwest mechanics in the event of a strike. Mesaba has 255 mechanics, including 106 in the Twin Cities.

Mesaba Airlines officials are evaluating all of their options to ensure that their airline continues to operate a full schedule during a potential Northwest strike, said Mesaba Airlines spokeswoman Elizabeth Costello.

A union representative for Mesaba's mechanics did not return repeated phone calls. But Steve MacFarlane, AMFA's assistant national director, said, "Mesaba members are indicating they will honor our picket lines."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press