Airlines: The Ground Crew Walks Out

The Ground Crew Walks Out

Pan American Airways flew past one patch of labor turbulence last week but then jetted straight into another. The ailing airline (1984 revenues: $3.68 billion), which has not shown a profit since 1980, grounded most of its U.S. flights after some 5,700 mechanics, baggage handlers and other ground workers walked off the job Thursday shortly after midnight. The strike by members of the Transport Workers Union, which also sharply curtailed Pan Am's overseas operations, began less than 48 hours after the carrier had agreed to a new contract with its nearly 1,500 pilots.

The T.W.U. talks collapsed when union negotiators refused...

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