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Old 08-11-2005, 02:20 PM   #1  
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RockBottom's Avatar
Joined APC: Feb 2005
Position: Dallas, Texas
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Default NWA MEC letter

TO: Northwest Pilots
FROM: MEC Chairman Mark McClain
DATE: August 10, 2005

In this Ziplines I will discuss NWA management's use of Champion
Airlines to perform NWA flying and issues related to NWA stock in
the Pilot Retirement Savings Plan (401k).

As reported in the media, NWA management has been considering
having Champion Airlines aircraft and pilots perform NWA flying to
prevent disruptions in service related to a possible AMFA job
action. Although management has been considering this option for
some time, management only recently revealed its plan to ALPA after
we questioned them about it based on information we obtained from
other sources.

Late last night we learned management planned to have Champion
Airlines operate a NWA flight from DTW to DFW this morning. This
morning we learned that NWA flight was, in fact, operated by
Champion. The NWA crew was reassigned and passengers received
vouchers: $100 in coach and $200 in first class. At this time, we
are unsure what drove management's decision to make this

The NWA/ALPA Pilot Agreement requires all revenue flying conducted
by or for NWA or any affiliate to be performed by NWA seniority
list pilots. The Agreement also prohibits the subcontracting of
flying to others. ALPA believes management's use of Champion
Airlines to perform NWA flying constitutes a blatant and serious
violation of the Agreement.

I previously made ALPA's views on this matter clear to NWA
management through direct conversation and in a letter sent
yesterday to NWA President and CEO Doug Steenland. In both cases I
urged management to reconsider its ill-conceived strategy. I also
made clear that ALPA would aggressively pursue any and all
violations of the Scope provisions of our Agreement and would
submit them to expedited Arbitration for resolution. Unfortunately,
despite making our position clear, management has seen fit to
blatantly disregard key provisions of our collective bargaining

NWA ALPA has been in regular contact with the (ALPA) pilots at
Champion Airlines since we first became aware of this issue. In
fact, it was the Champion pilots who first informed us that NWA
management was considering this plan. They have been and continue
to be forthcoming and helpful.

Some NWA pilots have suggested that Champion pilots should refuse
to accept any assignment to perform NWA flying. However, Champion
pilots have no legal basis to refuse such assignments. Like NWA
pilots, Champion pilots may be subject to disciplinary action if
they refuse to perform an FAR-legal assignment. We cannot and do
not expect them to put themselves individually at risk by taking
such action on our behalf.

I urge all of you to remember that our dispute here is with NWA
management, not with the pilots of Champion Airlines. They are
simply "caught in the middle." Any treatment of Champion pilots
that reflects otherwise is unwarranted and inappropriate.

As this Ziplines is being e-mailed, I have just signed the
grievance we will file on this issue. I expect to have it in Mr.
Steenland's hands by the close of business today. As I noted
earlier, we will pursue this matter through expedited arbitration
as provided in Section 1 of our contract rather than the normal
grievance process.

ALPA is keeping an eye on the Champion situation. However, should
you become aware of a NWA flight being operated by Champion
Airlines (or any other operator), phone the information into the
NWA ALPA Safety Operations Center (800-NWA-ALPA ext. 374) so we can
follow up.

Scope and job protection provisions are at the core of our
contract, and this action by NWA management obviously frustrates
and angers us all. However, I ask you again to do your best to stay
focused on the continued professional performance of your duties.
Maintaining a safe, smooth operation is in all of our best

If you haven't already received it, you will very shortly receive a
notice from Northwest Airlines informing you of recent developments
relating to your Retirement Savings Plan and the company's other
401(k) plans.

First, Northwest Airlines has imposed a block on any further
purchases of NWA stock through individual brokerage accounts under
all of its plans, including the Pilot Retirement Savings Plan.
While no additional purchases will be permitted, participants are
still permitted to sell any shares held in their accounts.

Also, the company has informed us that the State Street Bank, the
Trustee for the Salaried 401(k) Plan, has sold all NWA common
shares, approximately 834,000 shares, held in the Salaried 401(k)
Plan as a result of the merger of the Salaried Employee Stock Plan
into the 401(k) Plan. The Bank made the decision to sell even
though the Salaried 401(k) Plan generally gives participants the
right to make buy and sell decisions. No shares were sold from
participants' individual brokerage accounts.

You should remember that the Retirement Savings Plan gives you the
right to direct sales of any NWA stock credited to your accounts
under the Plan. You may wish to review any holdings of NWA stock
you may have and consult with your financial advisor regarding the
advisability of continuing to hold NWA stock.

Although we are currently reviewing the implications of these
actions by State Street Bank and the company with legal counsel, I
wanted to provide this information to you now without waiting for
the conclusion of our review process.

NWA pilots, along with all NWA employees, continue to perform their
jobs in a very difficult and stressful environment. During these
trying times it is critical for you as pilots to remain focused on
the safe and efficient operation of our airline. Your ALPA
leadership is clearly focused on the issues that face us in the
near term and the long term. We will continue to make every effort
to protect the interests of all Northwest pilots and ensure the
long-term viability of Northwest Airlines.


Capt. Mark McClain
NWA MEC Chairman
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Old 08-12-2005, 03:22 PM   #2  
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Joined APC: May 2005
Position: CRJ-200 Captain
Posts: 170

It's nice to see all the unions at Northwest coming together to back the AMFA. You either all hang together or management will hang you separately, folks.
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