The End Of Labor's Self Help

Dont count on much help from Dole. When that #### was a cabinet member in the 80s she held a press conference where she claimed that airline workers were overpaid. Never before had the government taken a position such as that against working people. This was at a time when executive pay was growing exponentially and airline wages lagged inflation.
Our best option is external from the political arena. External events are more effective than conventional lobbying, which ends up being a contest of who has the deepest pockets. Our best option is a General strike of all unionized airline workers on the day that the bill passes. Under the RLA we can not strike against the airlines for economic reasons without being released by the NMB but we do have the right to withhold our labor as a means of political expression.Since our action, or inaction of reporting to work, are political in motivation any attempt to force us back to work would be a tremendous political embarrassment to the government. It would be without precidence. It would reveal that our government is less tolerant to political dissent than Russia or Poland. This is a bill that robs us of our Freedom, its worth fighting over.
There are good reasons to have strong views about this proposed legislation. It would end the current process of essentially free collective bargaining under the Railway Labor Act. Currently, the government can only somewhat delay the time at which the parties have access to self-help. The real fear that a strike may occur is one of the key incentives for both sides to make a deal in bargaining. Under the proposed legislation, the strike threat is gone - and with it the best incentive for the parties to reach a responsible contract themselves. In the last 10 years, over 98 percent of collective bargaining disputes mediated by the National Mediation Board under the RLA have been settled without a strike. For more about the Railway Labor Act, see for bargaining diagrams and other free info. on the RLA.

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