Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Amerijet Strike: Plastic bags are only onboard bathroom

This is what we've sunk to in labor relations after 20 years of Republican administrations out of not quite 29 years. The bosses get away with making their employees pee into plastic bags.

And it's right here in Miami. Yes, you read the sign right. "No bathrooms for air crew."

Here's a recent story from the Miami Herald about the Amerijet strike that started on Aug. 27.
Plastic bags are only onboard bathroom, pilots say - Florida AP - MiamiHerald.com

I went out and spent a short while at their rally and picket line on Labor Day. Over 100 people including family members were there in a festive mood. National and local union officials fired up the crowd. Still, a little fact buzzed up to cause me disquiet: the company has refused to negotiate a new contract for five years. Five Years!

With that in mind, I was glad to read later Monday the Daily Kos post about Labor Day, quoting the next head of the AFL-CIO, Rich Trumka, who's regarded as more aggressive than the outgoing crew. Thank goodness. The following excerpt is from the Washington Post's profile of Trumka.

Trumka's ascent represents a true changing of the guard, ushering in a tone of leadership that will be far more muscular than that of the avuncular [John] Sweeney. Even Sweeney says the time has come for a more assertive approach.

"It's true that he's more aggressive than Sweeney was," he said in his gentle Irish-via-New York lilt, referring to himself in the third person, "but I think that there is a time when you have to be aggressive and only can take so much, when you're getting it from people who are not looking for a way to resolve a problem but are looking for a way to kill the labor movement."

The Kos post seems to be quite a perceptive and balanced report on the outlook for organized labor. Our Miami slice of that appears to be national union support of the Amerijet strikers. Let's hope they soon can enjoy industry-standard pay and working conditions. Click here for Teamsters Local 769 news on the strike.

Some video from Monday's rally:

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