Northwest Pilots Agree to Contract

Northwest Airlines' pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International, have agreed to a new contract with the carrier. Sixty-three percent of the pilots' voting ratified the agreement. "With today's vote, our pilots and their families have made another significant sacrifice to help secure Northwest's future," said Doug Steenland, Northwest Airlines president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "ALPA's contract ratification is a major step in ensuring the long-term success of our airline," Steenland added. Northwest also has reached agreements on permanent wage and benefit reductions with the Aircraft Technical Support Association, Transport Workers Union of America, and Northwest Airlines Meteorologists Association. Also, the airline's International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers-represented customer service and reservations staff employees have ratified a new contract, and two rounds of salaried and management employee pay and benefit cuts have been implemented. Since beginning its restructuring process in September of last year, Northwest has been working to realize $2.5 billion in annual business improvements in order to return the company to profitability on a sustained basis. The restructuring plan continues to be centered on three goals: resizing and optimization of the airline's fleet to better serve Northwest's markets; realizing competitive labor and non-labor costs; and restructuring and recapitalization of the airline's balance sheet.

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