updated 2/12/2006 3:52:51 PM ET 2006-02-12T20:52:51

Northwest Airlines Corp. flight attendants will begin voting Monday on whether to authorize a strike, the same day the pilots begin voting on the issue, according to the Professional Flight Attendants Association.

Polls will be open from Monday to March 6, allowing the flight attendants 21 days to decide if they are willing to strike, if the company unilaterally implements terms and conditions on them, according to a Friday hot line message posted on the PFAA Web site.

Northwest has petitioned a federal bankruptcy court to do away with contracts made with its pilots and flight attendants. The judge is expected to issue a ruling on Feb. 17.

Northwest has said it would be illegal for the groups to defy a judge's order, but both groups said they believe they have the right to strike.

Northwest filed for bankruptcy protection in September because of rising fuel costs and competition from low cost carriers. The Eagan-based carrier wants to save $2.5 billion in costs, including $1.4 billion in labor expenses, to emerge from bankruptcy.

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