Northwest Calls Up Its Reserves
In a slightly perplexing move, Northwest Airlines yesterday summoned over 1,000 of its furloughed flight attendants--some who had been laid off, others who had taken voluntary leaves. Suspicion has arisen that Northwest might be bringing in back-up in case the courts, which are still deliberating, approve NWA's flight attendants' request to stage unannounced, periodic walkouts to protest significant cuts in pay and benefits. The union for the flight attendants, however, insists that these resuscitated workers would be no more willing to work during a strike than those currently employed. Perhaps this move signals financial improvement for the airline which, like Delta and others, benefited from a busy summer marked by high fares (though also by high fuel prices). No word yet on when the judge, who several weeks ago imposed a temporary ban on the proposed walkouts, will make his final ruling, but I'll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, those holding tickets, travel vouchers and frequent flier miles (WorldPerks Miles) with NWA might at least begin the inhalation of a sigh of relief.