This is Leslie Mayo with a Hotline update for Saturday, August 20, 2005.

AMFA , the union representing 4,500 mechanics at Northwest Airlines is on Strike against the airline effective at 12:01 a.m. this morning.

In a press release issued Friday night, AMFA National Director O.V. Delle-Femine stated that “We expect flight schedules to be disrupted with delays and cancellations, because 4,500 AMFA technicians who average 20 years of live experience on Northwest’s fleet are being replaced by 1,500 people who in many cases have little or no live experience on the type of aircraft Northwest flies and are relying on a few months of hurried classroom training and hands-on practice on non-live aircraft.” Delle-Femine says that Northwest’s intent is to drive the airline into bankruptcy thereby dumping pensions on the PBGC following the lead of United Airlines last Spring.

The last time Northwest mechanics threatened to strike, President Bush prevented airline workers from doing just that by creating the infamous “Presidential Emergency Board” or PEB and activating it days before the strike deadline. This time around, however, President Bush says he’s confident that Northwest can continue to fly without its union mechanics.

This strike is the first at a major airline since 1998 when Northwest Pilots went on Strike for 20 days. APFA supports our union brothers and sisters at Northwest in their efforts to fight for a fair contract in the midst of a seemingly never-ending atmosphere of airline labor concessions.

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