NWA Woes

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I am very upset today over the Northwest Airline debacle. That Northwest could bust a strike by bringing in scab mechanics was bad enough. But now it seems that they are also simply going to eliminate 1,200 plus union jobs. Indeed, the airline’s spokesperson said,

the airline is considering the legally thorny question of whether to make the 1,200 replacement mechanics it hired to keep flying through the strike into permanent employees.

In short: if you are a worker you have no right to freedom of speech, freedom to collectively bargain, or freedom to protest working conditions – your company can simply dismiss you, eliminate your union job, and hire someone else.

I suspect the NLRB will let them get away with it, too. Under Bush, the NLRB has been extremely pro-strike-busting and anti-workers’ rights. They even recently upheld a company rule that banned employees from “fraternizing” away from the job, denying workers the freedom of assembly.

The corporate heads want to keep workers down, want to keep them separate and isolated, and want to keep them from collectively asking for fair wages and benefits.

Although my money is with Change to Win’s focus on organizing new workers, its events like the Northwest strike that remind us how much new labor legislation we need and that perhaps there is room for Sweeny’s agenda as well.

By the way, Curly Tales of War Pigs who has been extensively covering the NWA strike points the way to the Star Tribune’s strike photo gallery. I highly recommend it.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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