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Execs' pay flies high at airline; union fumes

The top five executives at Northwest Airlines received bonuses totaling more than $2.3-million in 1993, a year in which the company avoided bankruptcy by convincing other employees to take pay cuts.

John Dasburg, Northwest president and chief executive, received more than $1.6-million in salary and bonuses during the year, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Included in Dasburg's bonus: $750,000 for helping to land the wage concessions from employees.

The pay for Northwest executives does not set well with the company's largest union, which joined other workers in agreeing to $886-million in pay cuts last summer. Workers, including management, received a 33 percent stake in the company.

"Our members saved the airline from its own mismanagement, and they end up getting bonuses out of it," said Tom Pedersen, head of Northwest's 24,000-member Machinists union. "I think it's outrageous."