Monday, August 29, 2005

Going down with the Ship?

So, there's more in the ongoing saga (death-throws?) of the NWA Mechanics' union.

An email came out today from a certain email system that reaches many AFSCME people (AFSCME is the state, county, municipal, and university employee union).

Here're the relevant bits:

Please forward to all who might be interested:

U of M AFSCME is organizing a picket in solidarity with the striking Northwest Airlines mechanics (members of AMFA Local 33) on Tuesday, August 30 from 11:30 to 1:30 in front of the Radisson Metrodome on Washington Ave and Harvard St.

The mechanics have been on strike for the past week, fighting massive takebacks and union busting efforts by Northwest Management. NWA is housing the replacement/scab mechanics at the Radisson Metrodome. U of M AFSCME will be picketing in front of the Radisson on Tuesday to protest union busting by Northwest, and to also protest the attacks made against our own union by the University administration in the current round of contract negotiations.

Join in solidarity with our striking brothers and sisters of AMFA Local 33.

An injury to one is an injury to all.

See you there!
I've only got one problem with this: why should anyone in AFSCME support the NWA mechanics? "An injury to one is an injury to all"?? It seems to me that if the airline can bring in enough replacements to fill the 4,000+ positions left open by striking union members that the Union isn't really doing much good.

Instead of staging a sympathy picket-line at the hotel, how about ponying up the extra money in ticket costs to let the airline earn what it would need to pay Union wages on discount-fares.

Hmmm, I don't see that option jumping off of any negotiating strategies. Wonder why.

Sorry to keep harping on this, I just find it frustrating. The union is taking a stand that it feels is warranted, without offering any logical explaination that I've seen to justify risking losing their jobs.

How long will it be until the Mechanics start to wonder if "standing on principal" was worth losing their jobs?


alektra's boy said...

Well, I for one have never understood the inter-union loyalty that would lead to the United Steel Worker's union meeting being moved from an economically weak city like pittsburgh(home of US. Steel and United Steel Workers Union Chapter 1) to the economically powerful Las Vegas for the reason....survey says.....not enough unionized hotel rooms! The union leaders apparently care more for the unionized hotel workers, than they do for the non-union ones that work here in pittsburgh where they used to have union steel jobs before the plants shut down. Hmmmm...i think I spy with my little eye something that looks...well, just plain stupid.

alektra said...

Dude, he needs to get his own blog. Would you convince him, because I can't.

I don't know much about all this, mainly because of my background of working for a non-union company and then working with union construction guys at the same time. It was a big taboo that still lingers. But it's funny that when I was doing data entry and getting ripped apart by a horrible boss, my grandfather suggested a union, and I realized it was something that would never happen. Our generation doesn't see the benefits with a union...