TEXT OF STORY
TESS VIGELAND: Back stateside, passengers of Northwest Airlines could be in for a wild ride today. The bankrupt carrier is locked in a labor dispute with its flight attendants that could lead to a unique form of “chaos” later today. Larry Schooler explains.
LARRY SCHOOLER: Starting today Northwest Airlines is free to impose wage and benefit concessions on its flight attendants.
A bankruptcy judge gave Northwest the green light as part of reorganization efforts, but flight attendants have threatened to strike back with surprise walkouts on select flights. It’s a job action they call CHAOS, an acronym for “Create Havoc Around Our System.”
Transportation expert Richard Gritta at the University of Portland says the scenario could backfire for both sides.
RICHARD GRITTA: People are gonna say, look, I’m not booking Northwest because I don’t know if I’m gonna get where I’m going. The disturbance to the system is going to create anger among travelers, who say ‘why are we the victims when this is a management-labor fight.’
And that could drive Northwest out of business-and its workers onto unemployment lines.
I’m Larry Schooler for Marketplace.
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?