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August 06, 2007
Airline Offers Premium Pay to Pilots Who Fly More than 80 Hours

Northwest Airlines has agreed to reinstate premium pay for pilots who fly more than 80 hours per month. The company also announced that it is offering an incentive program for employees who have perfect attendance over the next month.

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The company, which had to cancel many flights earlier this year, says the changes will improve the airline's reliability.

"This is an important part of our efforts to achieve operational reliability," said Doug Steenland, Northwest Airlines president and CEO. "I'm pleased that we've been able to work collaboratively with the Air Line Pilots Association on these contract improvements and that both parties share a commitment to caring for our customers."

The airline obtained contractual changes on several work rules pertaining to international flying as well as the settlement of outstanding grievances in exchange for the reinstatement of premium pay of 50 percent for all pilots, for any flying over 80 hours, effective August 1, 2007.

Under the company's Summer Reliability Incentive Program, all contract employees, including pilots, who achieve perfect attendance from August 4 through September 3 will receive incentive pay equal to 15 percent of eligible earnings up to $1000.

The company says the agreement is economically neutral, with the cost to Northwest of the premium-pay element offset by the value of the work-rule changes and grievance settlement.

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