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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 10, 1998
                       REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                            UPON DEPARTURE

                            The South Lawn

6:53 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. I wanted to take this opportunity to say how delighted I am that Northwest Airlines and its pilots have reached the terms that form the basis of an agreement. The parties are now working on the specific time of getting back to work. The agreement, of course, will have to be approved, but I think this strike is over.

Earlier today, I spoke over the phone to the leaders of both parties: Randy Babbitt of the Airline Pilots Association; and John Dasburgh, the CEO of Northwest Airlines. I told them how important this negotiated agreement is to our country and to our economy, particularly at this time.

I'm pleased that they have worked so hard to make this happen. Getting Northwest planes and pilots back into the air is a victory for the company and for the employees and a victory for all Americans who rely on the airline.

I'd like to say a special word of appreciation to those here in the administration who were involved in this effort: to Secretary Slater; to my Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey, who has developed quite an expertise in this whole area. They both went to Minnesota this week at my request to help to resolve the matter. I'd also like to say a special word of thanks to my labor adviser here in the White House, Karen Tramontano, for her work.

All of them helped to spur these talks along. They deserve credit for their determination. Again, let me say that this is good news for the American people. This is an indication that the collective bargaining process, if entered into in good faith, can actually work in a way that benefits everyone. I know there are a lot of people that depend upon Northwest who are relieved tonight, and, again, I just want to thank all the parties, including you, Mr. Secretary.

Thank you very much.

END 6:56 P.M. EDT