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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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