Top Minn. senator plans hearing into Northwest merger talks

Sen. Jim Metzen
Sen. Jim Metzen has called for the Legislature to hold hearings on a possible Northwest Airlines merger.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Minnesota Senate President Jim Metzen says he doesn't want to see Northwest Airlines leave the state in a merger with Atlanta-based Delta.

The South St. Paul DFLer is particularly concerned about the 2,300 jobs at Northwest's Eagan headquarters, which is located in his Senate district.

Metzen, who chairs the Senate Business, Industry and Jobs Committee, said he will hold a hearing soon on the potential merger and will subpoena airline executives if necessary.

"We're exploring here. We're grasping. We're looking. And it's such a big deal for our state that we have to plow ahead," said Metzen. "Now, I can't stand here and say I have all the answers, because I don't. But we're going to get some answers."

Metzen said Congressman Jim Oberstar, the chairman of the U.S. House transportation committee, has already agreed to testify at the hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

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