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Northwest Pilots Agree to Pay Cuts

March 04, 2006|From Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Pilots reached a tentative pay-cut deal with Northwest Airlines Corp. on Friday, a major step toward ending a showdown that had put the airline's future in doubt.

The Northwest branch of the Air Line Pilots Assn. announced the agreement but didn't release details. The nation's fourth-largest airline, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, said it got the $358 million in savings it sought.

The deal would still have to be approved by the union's leadership and members. The union said its leaders would meet Friday night to consider the agreement.

Pilots were the last Northwest union without a deal.

"The tentative agreement is a painful but necessary part of a successful restructuring of Northwest Airlines," said Mark McClain, head of the Northwest branch of the Air Line Pilots Assn.

If its unions approve their agreements, Northwest will have reduced its labor costs by $1.4 billion since late 2004. It said it was trying to cut $2.5 billion in annual costs "to return the company to profitability."

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