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Strike May Ground Northwest

Negotiations between the nation's fourth-largest air carrier and its pilots were continuing Thursday, but the two sides remained as far apart as ever.

Pilots at Northwest Airlines say that the airline has had a record of profits and that the pilots deserve more money.

While Northwest says its latest offer is fair, pilots are calling it a slap in the face and say they won't accept it, CBS News Correspondent Drew Levinson reports.

"Everyone loses if the pilots go on strike," said a company representative. "The company loses. The pilots lose. The areas we service lose."

A strike, which could happen as early as Aug. 29, would ground Northwest's 1,400 daily flights—150,000 passengers daily. For those who depend on the nation's fourth largest carrier, it would mean taking an alternate route. That doesn't sit well for those who fly on Northwest.

"I thought by now they would have settled it," one traveler said.

In an attempt to hold onto passengers should the strike happen, the airline rolled back a 4 percent rate hike it instituted earlier in the week.

In 1997, pilots at American Airlines struck. Minutes later, President Clinton intervened, and the strike was settled. Northwest pilots say the president should stay out of their business.

"We don't want a third party negotiating our contract," a representative for the pilots said. "We would like to negotiate our own futures."

There are still bumpy times ahead. The baggage handlers, ticket agents, and mechanics are ready to strike too, if they can't reach an agreement with the airline.

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