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Eyeball To Eyeball At Northwest


In Business This Week

EYEBALL TO EYEBALL AT NORTHWEST

The tough talk has started at Northwest Airlines. On Mar. 1, the carrier proposed slashing labor costs by almost $900 million over the next three years. In exchange, it would give workers 20% of equity and three board seats. Cash-strapped Northwest demanded acceptance by Mar. 10, one day before it meets with its bankers. Sources close to the airline insist that if a labor deal isn't concluded by then, a Chapter 11 filing may be inevitable. NWA's unions believe the offer is still a low-ball deal. They expected to win 30% of the carrier's equity plus a veto over major strategic moves, such as route sales. They also want a commitment to debt restructuring from creditors, and no such pledge appears likely.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS


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