updated 8/5/2005 3:14:15 PM ET 2005-08-05T19:14:15

A federal judge threw out a complaint by flight attendants who said Northwest Airlines Corp. was improperly training their replacements in case they strike.

The Professional Flight Attendants Association union had claimed that Northwest was changing their contract and creating a security risk by training replacement workers who had not been promised a job.

The union said trainees usually are promised a job as long as they finish training. It wanted a temporary restraining order to stop the training, which began July 30.

U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty ruled on Friday that the dispute was minor. Under federal labor law, that means it can be decided by an aribtrator.

"We are pleased that the federal district court agrees that this is a matter to be addressed under our collective bargaining agreement with the PFAA," Northwest said in a written statement. It said training of the flight attendants would continue.

Northwest began training the flight attendants out of fear that PFAA flight attendants would refuse to cross a mechanic picket line.

Northwest's mechanics can strike after 12:01 a.m. EDT on Aug. 20 if they don't reach a deal with the airline. Talks are currently stalled.

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