EAGAN (AP) -- The union representing mechanics for Northwest Airlines has asked the U.S. National Mediation Board for permission to prepare for a possible strike or other job action.
Because the board is dissatisfied with the difference in negotiating positions that separate Northwest from the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, the request is not expected to be granted. The union and Northwest have a tentative agreement on work rules but are vastly apart in pay proposals after bargaining for more than a year.
For the mediation board to give up on the process, it would have to conclude that further mediation would not be successful.
The union's national director O.V. Delle-Femine called on the company to join the union in asking to be released from the formal mediation process. A release would free the union to stage an all-out strike or other disruption, but only after a 30-day cooling-off period.
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