NWA Technician Sues over Layoffs

April 12, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A former Northwest Airlines technician, laid off in the wake of the post-September 11 airline industry downturn, has sued the carrier and several unions for what he said was a violation of union contracts.

Greg Newsome’s lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Memphis, Tennessee, also names the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers as defendants, according to an Associated Press report. Northwest laid off 10,000 workers after the September terrorist attacks.

Newsome is asking for back pay, medical and pension benefits, and vacation leave.

Although a Northwest spokesman declined to comment to the Associated Press, the report said the airline in the past has contended its worker contracts allow for layoffs in times of war.

Newsome’s suit contends the airline is improperly invoking that wartime provision.

Newsome named the two unions for failing to ensure that workers’ seniority rights are protected.

Newsome’s suit asks that the case be designated as a class action. Forty-three people have signed on as co-plaintiffs.