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Mediation board orders NWA to keep negotiating with mechanics
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Northwest Airlines machinists held an informational picketing session at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport on Thursday June 9, 2005. (MPR Photo/Jeff Horwich)

Minneapolis, Minn. — (AP) Northwest Airlines Corp. must keep negotiating with mechanics, mediators said on Thursday, handing the union a victory in its efforts to resist pay cuts.

Northwest had wanted the mediator to declare its talks with the union at an impasse. That would have prompted a 30-day countdown toward a strike or a lockout - or a deal with mechanics. But the National Mediation Board rejected Northwest's request.

The rejection came just one day after mechanics wrote to mediators, urging them to let talks continue.

The letter from the mediation board said Northwest's request to declare an impasse "is not in order at this time," but it also said mediators "will closely monitor the progress of this case."

Northwest shares rose 3 cents to $6.30 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.