The life for airline workers is just getting worse. As reported today in the major newspapers (see The New York Times--registration required), Northwest and Delta are poised to file for bankruptcy as soon as today. What will likely come in pretty quick succession is further demands for wage and benefits cuts, particularly termination of the airlines' pension plans.
Seems to me, again, that the attack on pensions, in particular, is an issue that should be ripe for massive demonstrations--this is money that belongs to workers, wages they deferred to a later date. By the way, airline executives are still pulling down large pay, benefits and, yes, pension credits.
The situation has gotten even more dire for the striking Northwest mechanics: the company has now started to offer permanent jobs to the strike-breakers (by the way, just as a historical reminder, when the bill to ban permanent replacements came to a vote in the Senate, it did not pass because Democrats could not get two more votes to break a filibuster. The two? Bill Clinton's home state senators from Arkansas, Dale Bumpers and David Pryor).
The only little silver lining: I'm glad some of my dues money is going to the strikers--as reported by the Associated Press yesterday, the United Auto Workers has donated $880,000 to assist striking mechanics at Northwest Airlines. "Northwest Airlines' behavior toward AMFA is blatant union-busting and an insult to every American worker," UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said in a prepared statement.