Pilots have other options

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Recently, things haven’t been so good up in the friendly skies for pilots of Northwest Airlines.Saturday 6,100 pilots walked off their jobs in dispute over issues of pay, job security, retirement and work rules.

The strike came on the heels of a last-minute offer from the airline which was rejected by the executive council of the Air Line Pilots Association.

Because of the strike, the airline canceled all of its 1,700 daily flights through Tuesday.

According to Northwest, it pays its top pilots a salary of more than $240,000 a year compared to the average salary of $133,000.

Not to mention, Northwest offered its pilots 14 million shares of the airline’s stock in exchange for concessions which, coincidentally, kept the airlines out of bankruptcy in 1993.

Since 1992, the pilots have asked for a 15 percent raise, but the airline has offered only 4.5 percent, which it said is higher than the average rate earned by pilots at other airlines by the year 2000.

The raise would eventually increase to 7 percent by 2002.

Furthermore, the pilots have now called for the federal government to step in and resolve the issue.

It shouldn’t be up to the government to intervene in issues like this.

There are more important issues, like the bombings that took place in Afghanistan two weeks ago, which far outweigh the problems between Northwest and its pilots.

With the considerably high salaries today’s airline pilots now make plus benefits, it doesn’t make sense that pilots would ask for more money.

As the Northwest strike continues, the pilots have either two choices: continue their protest or find themselves other jobs.

But more importantly, if the strike isn’t resolved, Northwest pilots could be looking in the help wanted ads while their former passengers make other travel plans with another airline.

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