It’s now two weeks before a potential mechanics strike at Northwest Airlines, which serves more than a half-dozen Iowa cities. Opinions are widely varied on how the threatened strike will effect flights. Northwest says it’ll be able to run a full schedule and travel agent Pam Edwartoski (ed-WAR-tah-skee) says she’s trying to be optimistic. Edwartoski says “I think there’s going to be a few delays and a few hiccups, but I think it’s going to run pretty smoothly and Northwest is going to fly, they have to fly or they’re going to go bankrupt. They know that, they’ve been preparing 18 months for this.” If there’s a strike, union official Bob Rose says Northwest will falter with replacement mechanics. Rose says “They’ve never worked on airplanes like ours and tried to keep stuff in the air that we keep in the air, under the Northwest budget, which is pretty sad sometimes, they are not going to keep these planes in the air.” Both sides have said they’re willing to return to contract negotiations, but no new talks are scheduled. Northwest directly serves Des Moines and Omaha, and Mesaba (me-SAH-bah) provides Northwest Airlink service to Mason City, Fort Dodge, Sioux City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities.
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