Northwest Threatens Employees

‘Northwest Airlines is threatening to discipline, and possibly fire, union employees if they proceed with picketing that questions the safety and security of Northwest flights, according to a letter the airline sent to the mechanics union. “It seems like pure intimidation,” said Jim Atkinson, president of Local 33 of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association. The mechanics and the Professional Flight Attendants Association had planned to conduct informational picketing on July 2 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

‘The union members planned to picket to raise awareness of the company’s practice of having overseas and third-party repair stations do maintenance on Northwest aircraft. They say maintenance performed in other countries poses a security risk. “Any suggestion that safety or security has been compromised at Northwest is both false and highly damaging to Northwest’s business,” Northwest labor relations Vice President Julie Hagen Showers said in a June 18 letter to the mechanics union, which was posted on the union Web site Wednesday.’

Well, that’s one way to shut down unions and intimidate workers … claim that workers’ exercising their constitutional rights is detrimental to business. Way to go, Northwest! Yeesh.