In the tradition of the major news networks, we present our coverage of the Northwest Strike…
Late Wednesday night, the U.S. Department of Justice sought to block a threatened strike, maintaining it would violate the Railway Labor Act, which does not allow strikes without both sides of the conflict being released from mediation. The Association of Flight Attendants maintains that its right to strike came when the bankruptcy court authorized Northwest to void their contract and impose new cost-cutting terms. For more information, Reuters reports here.
This afternoon(August 25th), a federal judge is set to rule on whether the flight attendants can strike. They have threatened to begin to disrupt service as early as 10:01PM Eastern Time. More information on that available here.
USA Today has provided an excellent and simple Q and A to answer the most relevant of StrikeWatch questions.
We are continually impressed by USA Today’s airline news coverage. They provide great assistance in locating developing information. Their Today in the Sky blog has an excellent summary of coverage from major new sources on the strike here
If the flight attendants initiate CHAOS(Creating Havoc Around Our System), which involves random work stoppages to cause cascading delays, it could cause major problems for Northwest Airlines, which is struggling with bankruptcy.
Some experts fear that the loss in revenue not only from the strike, but from the loss in business due strike rumors will prove fatal to the carrier. With all the buzz in the airline industry about mergers, it is possible Northwest could end up the next TWA, which was absorbed into American Airlines in 2001.
The loss of TWA meant a sharp reduction in the number of flights out of St. Louis, which was a hub for the carrier. Detroit and Minneapolis, Northwest’s major hubs, may suffer this fate if Northwest is no longer around. Their tendency to win fare wars at all costs has caused other carriers to be reluctant to inaugurate large scale operations.
Spirit Airlines maintains a hub in Detroit. Sun Country Airlines is based in Minneapolis. However, these carriers do not have the capacity to pick up the slack should Northwest cease or downscale its operations.
While a reduction in carriers is recommended by most experts, the problems come when routes and cities lose service, fares rise, and air travellers are inconvenienced.