Local 33 webmaster note: The following are
emails that I am receiving in support of our strike at Northwest
Airlines since the strike began. Personal identifying information has been
removed for obvious reasons. Send to
(webmaster has the right to post or not post your comment)
Received: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 20:58:33
I must say, if ever there is an "ultimate scab" it is Doug Selby! After today's Star Tribune article, I will spit on him if I ever cross his path again. For shame!
Received: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 07:58:13
I am the proud wife of a striking NWA Mechanic, and have this to say. Five months has gone by, and somehow most of us have survived, albeit not without some stress and turmoil. You ALL have transferable skills that you can offer future employers. Don't let NWA brainwash you (or morons on other posting sites) that all you can do after Aviation is work at Home Depot or drive a truck. The world is your oyster!! There are so many exciting opportunities out there, if you just go for them. Yes, it is difficult convincing employers that you can do the job. At least now they DO see that you have no intention of returning to NWA if you haven't already by now. That was a hurdle early on, it seemed. You can use your technical skills for railroads, autos, hydraulics and pneumatics work, Engineering, tool and instrument building, and other related occupations. I encourage you to think outside the box in your job search. Think of everyday items that require those skills, and don't give up!! Submit resumes even if you think there isn't a chance you will be called. You never know unless you try! There is a beautiful world outside of NWA where migraines, ulcers, and OJIs don't exist. Believe me...it'll be OK. Bless you all!
Received: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 18:58:35
I am the wife of a mechanic who took a lay off from NWA in
July. I have been trying to help the striking union families as much as I can by
donating food, donating money, attending rallies, and praying for the striking
union members. I would like this opportunity to say to each and every striking
member and their family, you have my utmost respect and admiration. I know that
life has been very hard the past few months. Thank you so much for all your
sacrifices and what you are enduring for the union.
On December 21, I emailed the following letter of opinion to a local newspaper that historically seems to be more supportive of NWA than the
union. For some reason, my letter never appeared in the paper. I want to share what I had written:
"Good Will Towards Men"
It looks as if Northwest's Board of Directors and executives are going to get some great gifts from their workers this year: reduced wages and
benefits, fewer workers and a broken union. You see, it doesn't matter if you are naughty or nice to get great gifts from your workers. I am reminded of a man who might have looked like Santa, but certainly did not act like him. Andrew Carnegie, steel magnate and philanthropist, made millions for himself by slashing wages, cutting jobs and breaking unions--the same way that some of the NWA Board of Directors and executives made millions for themselves this year.
So happy holidays to Doug Steenland, Andy Roberts, Al Checci, Gary Wilson and the rest of the executives and board that run NWA. I hope that you enjoy all the gifts and fine foods you are able to purchase for your holiday celebrations while your workers struggle just to make ends meet.
At least Carnegie built libraries.
The phrase "broken union" that I used in my letter stands for the workers that have broken off from the union and chose to help NWA by returning to work, not that the union itself was broken. The remaining AMFA 33 members are strong, stand united and have their dignity. God Bless AMFA 33. Stay positive and persevere. The fight isn't over yet!
Received: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 16:38:41
To the amfa members I say THANK
YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for voting "NO", also for standing firm! To
Northwest management team
HAHAHAHAHAHA, I hope this thorn sticks and hurts, for the past four months its hurt us, now it is your turn.
Former DCA Maintenance
Received: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 21:19:17
I was overjoyed to hear you have dug in your heels, and will
continue to be a thorn in the side of of the money-grubbing sadists who ruined
Northwest Airlines. And if that's not enough reason to celebrate, it looks like
their toxic karma is finally coming full circle to gobsmack them right in the
arse! Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and his name is Milburg Weiss.
Seems those naughty execs received a great big lawsuit in their respective
Christmas stockings - along with a switch and a lump of coal - and must now go
place their lily-white, callous-free, manicured hands on the Bible, and tell the
big scary judge the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about why they all
had that sudden urge to dump piles and piles of their Northwest stock in the
months prior to declaring bankruptcy. Coincidence? Hmmmm.
There is a wonderful momentum afoot now, a growing solidarity between the unions, whose collective voices will soon be a force to be reckoned with. The pilots will be out there picketing/leafleting this coming week, and now that the harsh reality of those first pay cuts is finally sinking in, you will find a lot more of your fellow employees actively joining the fight against corporate terrorism. So AMFA heroes - keep picketing, stay visible, do not get discouraged! Spread the word about the ongoing "corporate campaign" that is targeting the individual NWA board members where it hurts them most - their insatiable egos. For those who are unaware, this campaign is targeting every member of the Northwest Board of Directors. Many of these limelight-seeking egomaniacs sit on the boards of other prestigious organizations, so the goal is to shame them into resigning these seats by leafleting the public at these venues, and educating the ignorant as to how the draconian policies of our fearless leaders should not be rewarded with such opportunities. So far this campaign has successfully targeted Doris Kearns and John Engler, and now Doug Steenland is on the hot seat. Gary Wilson is next. So hop aboard, all you wonderful employees who built this company with your hearts and souls, and join the fun. Walk the picket lines, educate the public, topple the Ivory Tower and all who dwell within. Take back your company. It belongs to YOU!!!
Received: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 21:00:24
AMFA members I would like to thank you for all the right votes
for this strike, the NO vote that is. Maybe now people will really understand
why my husband a cleaner in Detroit with 20 years of service is on the picket
line. He will probably never go back to work be we walk the picket line 3 days a
week so that maybe others can go back. I get so tired of hearing people say "you
are still on strike I thought it was over". Well it is not over and we will keep
on walking till it is. Thank you for the NO votes, I am sorry for the people who
voted yes but thank goodness it didn't go through. Now lets see what the company
will do now or even better yet lets see if any of the other unions has the nerve
to walk or the ability to do so. I hope to see everyone back out at camp picket
next week as I am hoping to get my cast off my foot. I pray for a better new
for everyone. I will be walking as soon as I get the ok too.
Received: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 11:08:24
Wife of a Mechanic with 20 years. As I do everyday I was
checking the AMFA website. Way to go, as far as I am concerned this is a victory
for our side, I don't care what the media or papers have to say. (If they only
had the whole story).
I do have a question, if Northwest, months ago had all the mechanics they say they needed, how can anyone crossing the picket lines (to
become SCABS (GOD only knows why)) even have a job? For all those that have been our friends that have now crossed over to only be screwed again, you make me sick. My stomach turns every time I see the SCAB list. Too bad your sooo lazy, you can't get out and find something else to support your family. You are and now will always be someone we will never trust.
Received: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 11:23:44
I retired from the Navy in 99 and started doing contract work
in avionics at a repair facility in the pacific northwest, I worked on the NWA
line for awhile. Let me tell you...there are so many dirt bags working at that
place it's scary. As a contract worker I never saw holiday or overtime pay,
though I worked both and was expected to, nor any medical benefits. To work as a
direct hire I would have started pay at about 17hr, though most start at 12hr.
Crappy pay, crappy working conditions, unrealistic time goals for maintenance,
layoffs every 6mos = unsafe. That's what the future holds if we don't stop the
corporations (greed) from ruining this country. If profits are so bad why do I
see so many million dollar homes popping up everywhere...anyway I was laid of
shortly after 9/11and vowed never to work in the industry again. It was tuff, I
was out of work for a whole year and came close to losing my! house. Well I
survived (with heavy credit card debt) make good money as a system operator for
a power company with a strong union (IBEE local128)
P.S. Where the hell is the FAA in all this, they should be crawling all over those planes, dishing out fines, they can't be safe.
Received: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 12:26:03
I for one am proud that I can still hold my head up high with
my decision to NOT cross my own picket line, and stab those people in the back
that I worked next to for 20+years. I feel good about myself and know that I
made the right decision.. I cannot say the same for the low life
scabs that I run into. It makes me sick to see them...and to see the pathetic look on their faces when they see me. I make sure that they do indeed see me, and they bow their head(s) down in shame. The look on their faces acknowledges to me what kind of people they are, and that yes, I did the right thing! Good Luck to the strong. Don't give in to the weak! Hold your head up high. Those LOSERS will never make it in this world!
Received: Wed, 28 Dec 2005 01:07:54
It's very late and I am tired after a long day at work. I am
the wife of a mechanic. I am proud that my husband did not and will not ever
cross the picket line. When he walked off the Duluth base after 20+ years
he said he came home with nothing but his tool box. I told him he came home with
much more than that. He came home with his dignity, integrity, honor, his
skills, talent, his values and could be proud he walked knowing that he did not
compromise his beliefs. NWA can never take those things away from him. They have
tried to take these things away from all of the hard working men and women that
once worked for this company, but they cannot if you do not let them. They have
offer that is nothing more than another slap in the face and make it sound like they are doing you a favor! He went on strike knowing that he
may never work for this company again. He's ok with that. This company is barely a resemblance of the company he hired on with. Over the years we have watched one management team after another pillage what they could by securing concessions with stock that wasn't accessible to us, dumping their own stock at an all time high or just dumping it, laying people off and at the same time offering overtime, stating "hey that's business" and then moving on. Now this management team has only one thing in mind. Break the union, outsource American jobs because it's less expensive, and not personally suffer financially. They do not care about any of the people that work for them except that they are needed to line their greedy pockets. If you skilled, licensed professionals don't want to cross the picket line, hey they have some pathetic
unskilled, non professional substitutes that will line their pockets just as well... I realize that some of you just want to get on with your lives and want this strike to end. I get that. I wish we had unemployment and displaced workers assistance to help us out. This has not been an easy road for any of us and the future is uncertain. I thank the Lord that our faith is in Him and not in NWA. He can hold his head up high knowing he made the right decision and continues to make the right decision. I support his decision. I am proud to be the wife of a...very dignified man.
Received: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 22:22:43
This is the Second Airline I have worked for, the first being Eastern Airlines. I quit at Eastern in 1987 because I knew it was going to file bankruptcy and I wanted to get a head start on new employment. I love working on aircraft and my wife is from Minnesota, so here we are. I will not move my family again to chase aircraft work. I am through with aviation. I am also voting NO on this proposal, because I too think that NWA wants this to go through so it will be easier to come out of bankruptcy. Also a measly four weeks of severance pay is a slap in the face. I am working a part time job and therefore would not get but a pittance of the unemployment money. I still believe that NWA has something up its sleeve to keep us from getting the unemployment we are owed. I have heard guys talking about retraining and I don’t think we’ll see any of that either. BOHICA!!!
Received: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 13:12:53
To All Our Union Brothers and Sisters,
I want to extend much GENUINE and HEARTFELT Praise to everyone who has continued to walk the picket line and stood strong in our struggle! I am so grateful to you. It has been a difficult struggle. I am a retiree's wife and I still have flying benefits but I am actually horrified of the idea of using them. It is not just out of loyalty to the union; I KNOW THESE PLANES ARE NOT SAFE ! We, not too long ago had 4000 Mechanics right here in Mpls, now we only have 480! That means 9 out of 10 are missing. I'd like to know, who the heck is working on our planes? Is no one working on our planes? Or are ill trained poorly supervised Mechanics in China working on them?
I have two children in college – One on the East Coast, and one planning on moving to the West Coast. It is hard not to visit them. But I also have three younger school aged children, and I must confess the thought of myself, and my younger three children all sitting on a plane, attempting to land, the landing gears going out, another collision, a bigger fire – These thoughts do haunt me at times and they are not unjustified. They do stop me from flying.
The mechanics in AMFA have shown more Raw Courage than any other group of airline mechanics across the Entire Nation. To the Scabs, I want you to know, I believe you have placed my family's future physical well-being in jeopardy through your yellow bellied desertion. The purpose of the Union is not just to protect the employees, but also to protect the public they serve. Especially in in industry where people's very lives are held precariously inside an aircraft. The flying public is at great risk without the union to keep the management in line. I am very proud and very grateful to everyone who continues to participate in the Strike. I understand completely, what is at stake here, it is more than just jobs, the flying public’s safety margin continues to degrade and degrade, TO ALL WHO WOULD DEFEND US, MUCH PRAISE IS DESERVED!!
Received: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 11:55:50
This message is from a brethren striking mechanic. I have
walked the picket lines day after day night after night. I have read every
correspondence for and against the strike. I would have sided with the no strike side on August 20th because I knew the odds were in the
company's favor. After wishing and yearning to work on aircraft for the last four months and reading the ending offer I have come this
conclusion. A resounding NO vote! A yes vote will only help the company. They will be able to rid AMFA from the property, use us as an
example to intimidate and will be able to secure financing. Remember VOTE NO!
Received: Mon, 26 Dec 2005 20:19:55
I work for a large financial institution & if you (mechanics & cleaners) haven't made your mind up on whether to vote yes or no, the right decision would be the message your union brothers & sisters are resounding, VOTE NO. It's true... NWA wants to rid itself of unions, particularly AMFA. Financing would come easier if there are no pending contract negotiations. So, why quit now? Get out & get another job & move on. But, for the sake of the dedication you've put out over the many years of service to NWA, why give in to the crooks that run that airline now? Do you think your time is worth just 4 weeks of severance? And do you really think it will get approved by the bankruptcy court? What about the unemployment they say they won't contest? Better odds at the casino!!!
Received: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 07:50:24
Wishing all the striking men and women and their family's a
peaceful and blessed Christmas. There is great peace in having the courage and
the integrity to stand up to the greed of corporate America. Many blessings for
a happy and prosperous New Year.
Proud AMFA Wife!
Received: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 09:33:34
My husband is an 18 year, skilled, compassionate, honest, hard working, airplane loving, AMFA mechanic. I am filled with pride and love for him. As are all of you reading this, for your spouse and striking mechanic. In the throes of labor at my sons births, in the ecstatic and miraculous moments of their first breaths, I felt connected to every woman who ever gave birth. As I read all the mail on this site every day, I reconnect with all the families that are experiencing this painful but endlessly rewarding experience in the same way. Your stories fill me with strength, bring me to tears and many times a good laugh. I am proud to say my husband voted NO! I wish all my friends and BROTHERS AND SISTERS the Happiest of Holidays and the strongest and brightest NEW YEAR ever.
Received: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 16:59:24
I am the wife of a 23 year mechanic, and I just read the text
of the so-called offer the company has come up with. After reading it, all I can
say is this; Did you guys really go on strike for this? Is this what you've been
walking the picket line for? Is this what your families have been enduring
months of hardship for?
Christmas at our house will be a very lean one this year because my husband is striking for a better working world for our kids to live in. He's not striking for the crap this proposal offers. In my opinion, if you vote yes for this offer, you're no better than the scabs who knuckled under and went back to work. I don't care if Northwest goes nose-first into the ground, at this point you guys have nothing to lose. You're already getting a big fat goose egg from the company, so why agree to their worthless offer? For a few lousy weeks of 'layoff pay'? You can make more money than they're offering by getting a part time job at Home Depot. That portly little Hagen-Showers wench with her cheap clothes and her bad haircut must be laughing herself silly over this whole thing.
We all know they just want AMFA out of there, and this is how they plan to accomplish that goal. If it's indeed true that their hiring of replacement workers was illegal, then getting us to agree to their latest offer would tidy things up for them quite neatly and get them cleanly off the hook. Don't let them win. You're better men than that.
Received: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:36:08
I talked to an ESE chief today. He said that a lot of ese's are quitting. Plus he told me a story about a 757. It was a Terminator the night before and 20 minutes before departure the mechanic decided that they needed to do a break change on the left main. So they changed the RIGHT side. One of the ESE's noticed that the left break was still leaking right before the A/C departed and he asked the ESE chief, "don't they know that the left side is still leaking?" So my friend called the tower about it but the aircraft went out anyway. They changed the wrong side!
Received: Sat, 17 Dec 2005 12:09:10
I personally consider this latest so-called offer from nwa a
slap in the face. What are they truly offering us? Did any of us go on strike
for 4 weeks of severance pay. I sure hope not. We went on strike to save the
jobs of our union brothers and sisters. We went on strike to take a stand
against corporate greed and corruption. This latest offer is just another
example of the huge amount of contempt that this company has for its employees.
They are not offering our jobs back. They are saying to you that you are less
than a scab. We know better.
The other unions on the property are just now coming to terms with the reality that we were faced with 117 days ago...let the company take what little dignity you have left and force you to turn your back on your friends by agreeing to a contract that eliminates their jobs OR strike. We chose to strike. We chose to stay unified and adhere to the true meaning of solidarity. Let's not go backwards now. Four weeks of pay will not make much of a difference either way. Staying strong and unified means everything. I still have fight left in me. Mike Trudeau still has miles to walk. The Super Bowl is right around the corner and we can wreak havoc on this city if we band together and come out in full force.
We've come this far. Don't give up now. Vote against this agreement and tell northwest what you think of them and their lousy offer. The most important thing that I believe will result from turning down this latest insult is that we will keep this strike going and just like an open maintenance item will prevent an aircraft from departing, this will prevent Northwest from moving forward and keep them from obtaining the
financing that they so desperately need to get out of bankruptcy. They want us gone...all the way gone so that they don't have to deal with us or explain our presence to future creditors.
To my brothers and sisters in states that did not allow the payment of unemployment benefits, just because nwa says it will not contest the reason it does not mean the state will automatically pay. They know the reason we left was a strike that cannot be changed. It does not matter what nwa tells them. I know it may seem easy for someone from a state that is paying benefits to say something, but there are members here that never applied for theirs.
And if nwa did according to Minnesota hire replacement workers illegally then this vote may definitely be premature.
Back up your strike vote with a no vote on this latest unconditional surrender.
Received: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 18:02:11
ALERT<ALERT<ALERT<ALERT<ALERT.....NEW DEVELOPMENT....Our organization has recently discovered that the permanent replacement workers -or- 'SCABS' hired by Northwest are on the property illegally! For official verification, go to: www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/179/12.html Pay particular attention to paragraph 9 even though Northwest has also violated paragraphs (3),(5),(7),and (8). Be sure to read the final statement of that page "UNLAWFUL ACT". Our union attorneys are currently working on a strategy. The result? Best case scenario: the judge orders the permanent replacements off the property or at least orders Northwest to re-classify their status back to 'temporary' ; OR : worst case scenario; the remaining mechanics in Minnesota would qualify for unemployment benefits due to the several labor law violations by Northwest. This information was presented to our local union officials on Dec. 1st, who past it on to our union attorneys. Some how Northwest must have caught wind of this latest development , and on Dec.6th came out with this latest 'take it or leave it ' suicide pact. We as members have to vote 'NO' and give this latest discovery a chance to play out in court, and maybe get our elected officials attention for once-including governor Pawlenty! Hang in there, our hearing for unemployment is next month. If you don't believe this e-mail, or if its too good to be true -ask Mike Klemm about it.
Received: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 10:24:36
I am a 25 year mechanic at Northwest on strike, and I still support the strike. We cannot vote yes on this latest offer that is being forced upon us. Its goes against every moral and ethical value originated in the labor movement. We cannot destroy what others before us have created in other major labor battles and disputes. Lives were given in the sacrifices made by our former labor supporters, fighting for what is right, fighting for what they believed in. Good people died. Don't allow the Corporations of today's world strip us of what is rightfully ours. This will send a message to other corporations of this country that they can permanently replace union workers without a long drawn out fight. Our strike is only four months old. We have old timers here that remember the strike in the early seventies where that strike lasted six months, and some were not recalled for up to seven years! This generation does not seem to know what adversity in ones life is like, I mean true adversity, or sacrifice for that matter. Our hearing for unemployment benefits is coming up next month, and our union attorneys have discovered some new evidence that would increase the chances of us qualifying for benefits here in Minnesota. I ask you as a fellow employee and union member to please give the process a better chance. We knew we were in this for the long haul from the start, don't give up now. We knew from the start we were on our own, so pull off your aprons and grow a set of balls. We are MEN! We are Minnesotans! We are not wimpy wining quitters!!!!..VOTE with your heart , VOTE NO!!!..........
Received: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 03:43:13
I have contacted the Guinness World Records and informed them
of the possible shortest labor rally in the history of the world. I'm hoping
that it would make it to the 'books'. This will show the whole world how
pathetic and how phony this so called leadership of labor unions at Northworst
are. When one is on STRIKE... one will STRIKE at every front and every
opportunity beyond the picket lines. The rank and file members of the other
unions on Northworst property are not the enemy... the enemy is any union
leadership whoever gets in bed with the Company and the Company leadership who
wanted to destroy so many workers lives.
I have moved on with my life and it is now free of Northworst slavery. However, my strike against Northworst will never end until my Association calls off the strike. If the AMFA strike remains forever... SO BE IT! STAY STRONG AND HOLD THE LINE PLEASE!!!!!
Received: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 09:44:05
This is a report on the “Solidarity Rally” held in Minneapolis
tonight that specifically excluded AMFA, even though the AMFA is the only union
to take a stand, NOT a rhetoric campaign, against this war declared on workers
in this country!!!
Sisters and Brothers:
I wanted to give you a quick account of this afternoon’s “rally” at the Thunderbird Motel in Bloomington, Minnesota. As a professional
labor historian, I must say that it is, to my knowledge, the shortest rally in all of US labor history. It lasted a grand total of 12 minutes. I would say 300-400 attended, mostly IAM ramp workers and baggage handlers, as far as I could tell. A smattering of pilots and flight attendants. The rally was run by Bobby DePace, General Chairman of IAM District 143. Other speakers were Doug Moe of PFAA, Mark McCain of ALPA, and Steve Hunter, secretary-treasurer of Minnesota state AFL-CIO. It might not have been the biggest display of hypocrisy in all of US labor history, but it’s right up there. AMFA Local 33 president Ted Ludwig contacted McCain of the pilots and asked to speak, but his calls were not returned. AMFA was not invited. AMFA and its 4,400 mechanics, custodians, and cleaners were not even mentioned, even amidst all the pontificating (a great word!) about “unity.” About 25 AMFA strikers and a handful of supporters leafleted the crowd as they entered the motel. I observed numerous touching moments of old friends seeing each other for the first time in months — evidence of the possibility of rank-and-file unity. Men and women genuinely expressed affection for each other, asked each other how they were, hugged, etc. The AMFA leaflet, written largely by Ted Ludwig was an eloquent expression of the centrality of solidarity to any labor strategy. When one AMFA member
showed up with a sign calling ALPA and IAM “scabs,” several strikers and Ted encouraged him, successfully, to put it away. But AMFA and its members, who have stood strong (93% did not cross their picket lines), got no mention from the stage. Pathetic! Hypocrisy! The shortness of the rally also suggests how little respect the “leaders” of these unions have for their own members — no effort to lay out a strategy, no request for them to do anything, no opportunity for them to speak or ask questions. In and out… pathetic!
Love and Solidarity (and Disgust),
St. Paul, MN
Received: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 18:27:05
Today we work under a 19% pay cut with less members so what's
the IAM do? They raise our dues!... The union officers never took a pay cut and
there is less of us to support them but when you try to talk to them about
it....No one at the District or National Offices will talk about it.
They will say its a local problem...Don't think so....assessments or from the national on down. All the IAM wants now is members (head count) and they don't care about anything else. They are not worried about the current members all they want to do is represent the NEWCO and GROUNDCO employees. You people have a Union that cares, the IAM does not. Keep you chin up and I wish you all good luck over the holidays.
Received: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 09:55:16
In house scab, former worthless lead.
He pressurized a 320 just enough to keep the doors closed, then went to sleep. Next morning's early bird flight, people can't get in the airplane. Called Maintenance Control. Well, they had to externally shut down the APU - went in and fond a scab sleeping.
This same person before the strike, sacked out on the bench in the break room, hat over the eyes. DTW director comes through, sees him in the corner, kicks a chair towards that corner - no response. Then walks over, lifts his hat up, then his eyes open!
Received: Mon, 5 Dec 2005 03:23:57
In November I counted no less than three NWA 757s with their engines removed and sitting at the Indianapolis Airport. They were tucked away in a remote corner of the field behind the now empty United hangars. This is business as usual for Northwest Airlines. I am glad to be moving on.
Received: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 12:44:25
A LITTLE WARMTH ON A COLD NIGHT
Last night at the B1 picket site, a car pulled up next to the concrete barricade where a fellow striker and I were performing our picket duty. A
gentleman got out of the car and approached us. He looked at us and said that he was glad to see us picketing on such a cold night. He stated
that he was a former Northwest mechanic who was laid off a few years ago and now is the owner of an automobile transmission repair business. He then expressed his thoughts to us about his dislike of Northwest management and their despicable behavior towards labor. He
then extended his hand to us and gave us his business card along with two fifty dollar bills! We were stunned by this generous gift and it was
agreed that we would only accept the money if it was donated to the strike fund. He then stated if any striking member was in need of
transmission work he would consider giving them a break on the repair bill. We thanked this man and he got in his car and drove away into the
My fellow striker and I watched many cars drive past us this night. Most were headed for the entrance of the MSPB hangar 7 parking structure,
a familiar routine many of us have taken thousands of times prior to August 20th, 2005. We counted over seven different out of state license
plates on these cars during our picket duty. Many were late model cars and SUV's (I counted three fairly new Cadillac's!) Each of these cars
were driven by an ignorant and selfish scab who willingly enable a malevolent executive management team to destroy and denigrate the years
of good service that we provided to this company. After watching all the greedy, selfish and ignorant scabs drive past us on this cold night,
my time spent on the picket line was made a bit warmer by the generosity of an honorable man. His business card will be at the Local 33 office.
Received: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 18:34:48
I just wanted to say how sad it is that people that have chance to go back turn their back against fellow union members... The cleaners are still on the picket line and they all got a goodbye letter from the union... But they still want what's right for everyone.... They all got called by nwa to cross over to deice for half the money ,and they did not cross the picket line.
Received: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 02:26:11
All of us will die... and that is the truth! If you don't
believe it, congratulations! It only means that you are insane, thus, you are
exempted from suffering inside the pain of reality. And what is my point? LIVE
YOUR LIFE TO THE FULLEST ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!!
Smell the flowers... enjoy the warmth of the summer... enjoy the cold of the winter... enjoy the sun... enjoy the snow. Enjoy life... enjoy your dignity. After all, we only have one life to live. I enjoy even the worst of adversity. You may come to my face and curse the heck out of me... but you know what? I am very thankful that I am living and breathing and hearing your curse... I am alive and I would prefer your curse anytime than not hear it at all at six feet under ground. Please nag me... please love me... let me know that I'm alive and breathing. Thank God for this wonderful gift.
During this strike, I enjoy every moment of it. I don't care what people may say about not having an income... burning my savings... barely making ends meet, but I enjoy every single moment of it. The most important thing is that I recognize that I am still breathing... I am living... I see the birds fly... I hear my baby's cry... I hear my wife's nagging... Ooohhh it's such a wonderful thing to be living. What a gift to be alive and breathing. I am lucky I am alive and breathing. I could have been six feet underground. Dead. Not living. And how is that feel to be dead? Never worry because WE WILL ALL EXPERIENCE IT (OR MAYBE INEXPERIENCE IT WITHOUT FEELING?) ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT... TAX AND DEATH ARE THE TWO ABSOLUTE IN THIS WORLD!
One thing for sure, while I live in this earth... I will do something to make a difference. I WILL NEVER CROSS A PICKET LINE... I WILL NOT SCAB... I don't care what comes into my future... I won't worry about the future... I WILL ENJOY LIFE WITH MY LOVED ONES... I WILL LIVE TO THE FULLEST ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!!
Received: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 08:02:56
I just wanted to write to tell you all how much love and
support people like myself are sending your way, especially during the holidays.
I'm a 24 year old graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,
getting a Master's degree in Industrial Relations. I come from a long line of
union members, two grandfathers, uncles, cousins, and both of my parents. I was
raised to respect a picket line and under no circumstance to cross that line. I
have always flown Northwest Airlines when I flew, but this year, I chose to take
the Amtrak train rather than cross the line. I'm saddened to read about workers
crossing the line and I'm sure that can be discouraging. Please just remember
there are legions of people supporting you, even though you may not see them
(the reason you don't see them is because we have made the decision to not go to
the airport and find other means of transportation!). I wish there was more I
could do to help. Please keep your spirits high and remember "together we
stand, divided we fall."
Received: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 22:31:01
Greetings from the land of Korea,
I was just reading the latest update, and I couldn't agree more with your update. I was working on my plane last night here in Incheon Korea RKSI when the evil redtail pulled in next to us. Of course the APU was inop. I have been working for Southern Air Cargo since I was laidoff in July. I have seen first hand the broke nwa freighters sitting all around the world. I was just in Anchorage two weeks ago with a nwa 747 freighter sitting there broke. I was told that some recently new scabs from MSP were up there to fix it. I truly believe that nwa was in worse shape than they wanted the membership to believe, I have seen it first hand around the world, but they threw out that ridiculous last proposal with the intention of getting everyone very nervous and to make the membership to start to doubt themselves. All I can say as that I'm honored there are men and women out there that are fighting for what's right and to know a lot of you personally.
Received: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 16:27:23
Hi, folks. I just today heard of your plight. You see, I
worked for NWA as a Mechanic for 20 yrs and quit back in 1999. I'd had enough of
the day to day crap of dealing with the management at NWA but I enjoyed working
with the people and enjoyed turning wrenches. I moved to Kansas and got
completely out of Aviation and so I've lost touch of the problems the employees
have still been having. I'm writing in support of the people and their families
that are strong enough to stand up to NWA and have the courage and fortitude to
continue. I always had the belief that if one has to start over in life, that
there's no better time than "right now"! Don't give in to NWA strictly because
it's easy, but because it's what you've been fighting for, when you've all
accomplished your goals TOGETHER, not separately as SCABS!!!! I'm also writing
this to let AMFA know that in this area of the U.S. we haven't gotten the news
that you were engaged in a strike. The media hasn't let that out and people in
this part of the country are unaware that they should not be flying NWA. I got
an email today from a Mechanic who's on the picket line telling me there was a
strike, that was the first I'd heard of it. Get the word out! Let the public
know Nationwide that they shouldn't be patronizing NWA this Holiday season or
until they have settled! Good luck to you all! Hang in there and do what's
right, not what's easy!!!
Received: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 15:31:02
Thanks Michele and Rick Wieser
(names posted by request)
and Happy Thanksgiving
Received: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 09:41:06
I am an AMFA wife in Detroit and I would like to say to everyone out in our AMFA family PLEASE let the people know that we are still out their and we plan on being out their till we get a package that we deserve. I know my husband has no job as he was a cleaner, and those jobs are being done by PROSPECT and I really don't believe he with 20 years will have a job to go back too. It really saddens me to see the lack of participation from supposedly our staunch UNION BROTHERS AND SISTERS. I have said this before and I will continue to say it "you can come out and give us 1 hour of your day most people don't work 24/7. I am tired of hearing people saying "I am so depressed I don't know what to do" well "I tell them to get off of their butts and pick up a picket sign for 1 hour it will make you feel so much better". Or to the people who come out only when they have a complaint and tell us it is beneath them to picket I say you want to be informed their is not a better place than CAMP PICKET. You don't want someone to think you are a scab show your face around the camp and we won't think twice that you have scabbed until we confirm it. Most rumors are starting because someone will say have you seen so and so and everyone will be like no not in a week or so. So I have to say keep in contact and show your face, get off your bottom and take a walk. My husband and I along with our young adult children when they can are out at camp picket every other day and boy is it great for our disposition. We talk to all the other people in the same boat as us, we can lean on each other as we are all in the same boat. I myself am totally disabled, and in a lot of pain on a daily basis but I am following my doctors orders and taking a walk to keep my body from totally stiffening up, I pick up a picket sign or I go stand at the door and talk to the flying public (usually I irritate them with my opinion butt do I feel better after I am done). I have heard the same old story I have bills to pay that's why I did it, well who doesn't!!!!! All you have to do is contact your credit card companies, or the kids student loans that you are responsible for and ask for a forbearance, most likely they will gladly give you a 1 year forbearance. Call you Mortgage company (they really don't want to take your house as they have so many already) and ask them to pay interest only payments for a few months. You can be very creative in bill paying put a little note in with the bills you pay telling them that they are the lucky one as you drew them out of the hat this month. To the ones you didn't draw out of that hat tell them they didn't make it out of the hat and you hope they have better luck next month. I feel a little humor goes a long way to our happiness. So make sure you help to keep out fight going as we need to keep letting the public know that we are not going to give in to the CORPORATE IDIOTS ideas of what or how AMERICA should be run. Like my daughter's new motto says UNION BUSTING IS DISGUSTING!!!
Received: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 15:15:55
Even Grandma helps out…
We received a registered letter in the mail today, from my mother-in-law, who lives half-way across the country. She lives alone, is twice widowed, has never driven a car, and will turn 70 in January. I would be surprised if her working income ever surpassed $30k a year, and she certainly lives on much less these days. Here is some of what she said:
“Enclosed you will find a check. I hope it will help out a little. I know it’s been rough, I’ve been down that road! Thank God I didn’t have 3 children to worry about at the time.
Hopefully the next year will be better for all of us. This one sucks!” (Go, Grandma!)
The check is for $1,000. I called her immediately (crying, of course). She said, “You need it more than I do. If I need to, I can always go to the food bank.”
Other than thanking her, I am at a complete loss for what to say to her. Mine is one mother-in-law who is deeply loved and appreciated.
I hope each and every AMFA family has such a person… not necessarily because of the money, but because they offer us every iota of moral support they can muster. Much to be Thankful for this week.
AMFA wife, 22 years and counting
Received: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 14:02:08
I have been a baggage handler for Northwest for over 20 years and have lost more than a job, my brother has become a scab and my folks support him. I found this out as I was planning our Thanksgiving. My mother said my brother couldn't make it because he had to work. At first I was happy for him and asked where? She said back at Northwest. My folks thought it was the right decision. I said, and you call yourselves Christians. You guys have tremendous courage for not crossing the line. I have the such respect for all of you. The baggage handlers never thought the company would go after us a hard as they are. We didn't make great money, pretty much did what they wanted, but we're next.
The IAM has to make a stand, and join you great people on the line. I have lost my family, but I have great union people like yourselves to look up too. The next time I talk to my brother the strike will be over, I'm never speaking to him again. Let your fallen brothers know you will welcome them back, some might think its to late. Good luck to all.
Received: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 22:41:21
Tonight, my husband (a striking mechanic with 23 years
seniority) and I went out to dinner. As we walked into the restaurant, his cell
phone rang. On the other end was an NWA friend of his who was calling because
he'd heard a rumor that my husband had crossed the picket line and was working
as a scab.
Needless to say, our evening out, the first one we'd had in weeks, was ruined. The fact that some blackhearted lowlife had actually had the gall to circulate the boldfaced lie that my husband, an upstanding union man who will NEVER go back to Northworst Airlines, had acted like a spineless little worm and crossed the line upset us both deeply.
Whoever you are, shame on you. My husband may forgive you, but I will not. Your blatant lie has done more than smear my husband's good and honorable name, it has blackened your name. I don't know who you are, (and if I were you, I'd be feeling mighty relieved about that, mister!) but you know who you are, and you have to live with the fact that your utter disregard for the truth has made a good man feel shame.
For those of you who read this, I certainly hope that you will be more careful with your own words than the liar was. Remember that passing along idle and unverified gossip can be deeply harmful to the person that you're gossiping about. If you don't know for an absolute fact that someone is a scab, then for God's sake, don't call him one! Think how you would feel if you were the one whose good name was being trampled underfoot. My husband, who has been out there on the picket line with you, and who has staunchly maintained from the very beginning of the strike that he would rather go on welfare than cross the picket line, now has to go to bed tonight thinking about how people he knows, people who's opinions he respects, are talking about how he's crossed the line and become a lowlife scab.
Whoever started this rumor, I hope you rot in Hell.
Received: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 15:58:06
My name is Nancy. My husband is Rodney and he had been an
Aircraft Technician with Northwest Airlines for approximately 21 years. I grew
up in a union family. We were Teamsters. My father was an over the road truck
driver with Minnesota Wisconsin Truck Lines. My parents instilled pride and
values in their children. And as the song says… If you don’t stand for something
you’ll fall for anything – was something I learned at a very young age.
During the past few months since the strike I have had numerous clients come in to where I work voicing their opinions and concerns about my husband’s job (or lack of), the union, the company… and I have found that in true union families the blood runs rich and hot when someone tries to justify brother and sister union members crossing the picket line…
She came in the clinic, the caring person she is and said that she was sorry. Sorry that NWA and the union had done us wrong.
“What do you mean the union has done us wrong?” I asked.
“Well you know” she said “By not letting you vote.”
“I don’t know where you get your information from, but there hasn’t been anything worth voting on. Our union has been more than open at telling us what the company has offered and we didn’t want it.” Now I can feel the hair start to stand up on the back of my neck.
“A friend of ours called my husband,” she said “And asked if he would think less of him if he were to cross the picket line and go back to work. I mean how can you be mad at him? He’s got bills, house payment, a family to take care of…”
I cut her off before she could finish, “We’ve got bills! We have yet to pay our house payment this month! I sold our furniture so we could have health insurance! My job was to pay for our children’s college and this year’s tuition of $8,000.00 has yet to be paid! I was in an auto accident this summer and took out the driver’s side window with my head. I had to return to work earlier than I should have because of this strike! Don’t tell me about the burden of this situation. There are those who are worse off than us and still refuse to cross the line. Truthfully if my husband were to cross I would have to divorce him because I would consider him to be the lowest creature on this earth to stab his union brothers and sisters in the back and I just couldn’t be associated with that! As far as your friend goes, he’s a scab and I wouldn’t have that type of person for a friend if I were you!”
Her eyes got big and I realized that I really laid into her. I felt bad that she had to take the brunt of such frustration that has been built up over the days of company sided media, smoke blowing politics, and the ignorance of society in general.
“Listen, I’m sorry.” I sighed, trying to release the anger.
“No, it’s okay. It’s been hard.” She gave me a nervous smile.
Yes it has been hard, but my family and I, we’re tough. You can bring us to our knees but that doesn’t mean we think you’re God and that we’re going to stay there!
Remember AMFA members; you have to do what you have to do. You can resign, work somewhere else or wait it out - But nobody is twisting your arm to cross that line. Be someone your spouse, children and friends can take pride in. Someone who you can look in the mirror at and know that that person looking back may be a little beat up… but it’s a good fight!
Received: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 03:56:27
I thought this was very interesting and thought that you might want to pass this along, too!
My father is a mechanic on the picket line. Day in and day out he lives the reality of what NWA has done not only to him, but also to thousands of other people. The executive decisions made by NWA have shown us many things. They have shown us cooperate greed, their uncaring nature of human beings, and a lack of morals or responsibility. They are at their best when they are creating a workforce that does not work together, but fights each other for any morsel that they throw our way. A fight amongst ourselves does not gain us any immunity from their grand scheme or protect our futures.
While having initially joined the strike line to help fight the dictatorship of NWA and to help lead a united front to ensure securities for all work groups at the Company, I have since realized this is a much more powerful fight. This fight spans further than any of us ever imagined. This fight does not represent one company and our contractual rights. Where our picket line begins another is ending, where ours ends, another is beginning and so forth from coast to coast across the nation. Many labor groups are going through similar battles from every industry in this country.
Whether anyone wants to admit it, we are in the midst of a great labor movement. If we stand idly by and let every thing go, we let our opportunity pass us by. We have the opportunity to set the standards, to stand up and fight, and let it be known that the American workforce is strong and deserves what they work for. There is a saying that history repeats itself, but this time we have the power to stop it.
The power to stop corporations from bringing us to the era of pre labor movement lies in solidarity. I have yet to meet one person who has the voice to be heard across a nation, but with support one voice can lead a movement. Malcolm X did not lead the nation towards equality alone, Cesar Chavez did not lead the grape growers to unionization alone, the bottom line is that we did not get where we are alone. Generations of hard working individuals gathered together and fought for the rights that we have today. Numerous people were killed because they chose to fight, not with the hopes of benefiting themselves, but with the hopes of bettering the futures of all Americans alike. While we are not battling in the extreme notion that our lives are on the line, our future generations may be. It is time that we stand together to continue their fight.
For one union to buckle under the pressure of corporate greed is a defeat to all unions. Every labor battle across the U.S. is being watched by every other battle. If one company sees another overtake the will of their employees, they know they can do the same. The downfall of not only unions, but also the American workforce is upon us. We need to act together to rebuild the integrity of the US.
By not acting now we place our children and future generations as risk. The risk of all industries being outsourced and only minimum wage jobs left is a real threat. The future is dark for America. The outsourcing has to stop, the concessions have to stop, the greedy leaders of this country need to be brought back to earth and held accountable for their actions. To continue to take from the employees is to take from the consumers. No longer will America be a prosperous country, it will be a third world country where only a few have any possessions to call their own.
The time to act is now. Stand up for your rights. Fight for what is yours. Keep America alive
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