Thursday, September 08, 2005

Striking mechanics just don't get it

Northwest Airlines' striking mechanics just don't seem to get it. The mechanics average about $70,000 a year in pay. They were willing to take a 20% pay cut, but no the 25% cut the company proposed. This represents a new average pay of $56,000 versus $52,500. Today in negotiations Northwest demanded even steeper cuts.

I know there is some hardball negotiating going on here, but the mechanics need to consider their position. Northwest has done reasonably well with its replacement workers, and has said it will begin hiring permanent replacements on Tuesday if a deal has not been reached. Northwest clearly has a lot of bargaining power here, since it has such an alternative. What alternative do the mechanics have? They will probably be lucky to get jobs that would match even the 25% pay cuts that Northwest was offering.

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