MacFarlane: We had offered Northwest everything they asked for, including the pay cut and the freezing of the pension plan. The one thing we had to have was the jobs, and they were unwilling to negotiate on that. It would have taken a majority of our own members to vote yes to eliminate their own jobs.
Editor's note: Northwest says one of its proposals would have protected 2,750 jobs. MacFarlane said the proposal only covered mechanics but not other AMFA-represented worker groups.
News: How have negotiations with other carriers fared?
MacFarlane: In the period of time we've been on strike at Northwest, we have ratified four contracts with other carriers. So it's not like you can say AMFA isn't willing to negotiate.
News: Some say the strike backfired and will go down as a failure. What's your response?
MacFarlane: I say that Northwest didn't get what it wanted either. It now has a bunch of rogue mechanics from all over the country. Besides, no self-respecting American could have stood there and said to your fellow workers, 'Guys, the majority of you won't be here next week, but I will, so I hope it works out for you.'
News: What are striking members doing?
MacFarlane: Some started their own automotive shops, some have gone into business with their wives in retail or restaurants. Only a handful remain in aviation.
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Mechanics walked away from talks with Northwest Airlines Corp. on Wednesday, accusing the carrier of refusing to bargain. The company's shares tumbled 8.6 percent.
Accusing Northwest Airlines of refusing to bargain, mechanics walked away from talks.
AMFA officials said they can't understand why AMFA members who are cleaners and custodians have been granted Unemployment Insurance benefits in Minnesota, but AMFA mechanics in exactly the same...