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Chisholm waiting for fallout from Delta-NWA merger

No town has more at stake in the Delta take-over than Chisholm, where one in 10 jobs are with Northwest.

No community is studying the impact of Delta’s takeover of Northwest so closely as Chisholm, home of a Northwest Airlines reservations center.

“500 jobs in a community of 5,000,” said Rep. Tony Sertich, who is from Chisholm and now is the DFL majority leader. “Obviously, the impact of those jobs is huge. They’re good jobs, with benefits.”

Sertich, and other legislators from the region, have been on their cell phones constantly since Sunday when it became clear the Delta-Northwest deal was going to happen. They’ve been in contact with both people from the community and the airline.

Sertich says he’s hopeful that the center, which handles Northwest’s elite customers and does computations of  frequent flyer miles, will go unscathed in the deal because the workforce has always been rated as among Northwest’s most productive.

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“I think it helps that [Delta CEO] Richard Anderson was the CEO at Northwest,” Sertich said. “He’s been to the facility. He knows how productive those employers are. I don’t think you turn your back on something like that.”

Sertich, by the way, recalls when the facility was opened in the early 1990s. He was a trumpeter in the Chisholm High School band, which performed at a huge grand opening ceremony.