Northwest Airlines C-E-O Doug Steenland said he wanted a deadline for a pay-cut deal with mechanics. Now he has one.
Mediators released Northwest and the mechanics from talks Wednesday. That starts a 30-day cooling-off period that could end with a strike at 11:01 p-m on August 19th (Central Daylight Time).
The two sides are expected to keep meeting until the deadline.
Northwest has pledged to keep flying if there's a strike, using managers and mechanics from contractors.
President Bush could appoint a presidential emergency board that would delay a strike, as he did in 2001. But the White House signaled that wouldn't happen, saying the National Mediation Board has found that a labor action at Northwest wouldn't significantly disrupt interstate commerce.