EAGAN (AP) -- Northwest Airlines will not reduce the pay of its managers next month as expected, but instead will delay the cuts until at least one major union agrees to concessions.
Minnesota Public Radio reported that union leaders said the unexpected conditions for the pay cuts could make contract negotiations more difficult.
In an April memo to Northwest's salaried employees, CEO Richard Anderson announced pay cuts of 5 percent to 15 percent for about 3,000 managers.
At the time, Anderson said Northwest managers needed to "share in the salary and benefit reductions needed" to keep the carrier out of bankruptcy.
Anderson wrote that the Northwest business plan "assumes that labor cost reductions including compensation reductions for salaried employees will be implemented July 1."
Union leaders said they took this as a firm commitment to cut the wages of Northwest's salaried workers. Most news organizations reported it that way, and Northwest did not mention that the cuts had any conditions attached.
But Northwest officials, asked to confirm details of the cuts, told Minnesota Public Radio that would not happen. Officials said the cuts were always contingent on at least one union agreeing to concessions. None of them have.
Northwest spokesman Jeff Smith told The Associated Press on Thursday night that July 1 was a target, not a hard deadline, and that the company always assumed salaried employees would take pay cuts when unionized employees did the same.
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