updated 9/28/2005 3:34:44 PM ET 2005-09-28T19:34:44

Northwest Airlines Corp. now wants $190 million in cuts from ground workers, up from $107 million, according to a letter from the airline that the union posted on its Web site.

Bankrupt Northwest could ask a judge to overturn its contract with its 14,000 baggage handlers, clerks, reservation agents, and other ground workers represented by the International Association of Machinists.

And that's what it will do if those workers don't grant concessions "in the short run," the carrier's vice president for labor relations, Julie Hagen Showers, said in a letter to the union dated Monday and posted on the union's Web site. She didn't give a deadline.

Northwest wants to cut pay for top-paid IAM members by 12.5 percent, outsource some jobs, freeze pension benefits, and reduce health benefits and vacation time.

The carrier also wants IAM workers to take an additional, "temporary" 5 percent pay cut while the carrier is in bankruptcy, documents on the union's Web site show.

Northwest has been looking for wage cuts and other givebacks worth $1.4 billion a year from all its workers. It made a preliminary deal worth $300 million with pilots last year, and it has imposed terms on striking mechanics, but flight attendants and ground workers have not made a deal.

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