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Old 09-02-2008, 06:37 AM   #1  
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Default Labor Day Message

Dear Fellow Pilots,

Today is the one day of the year set aside to honor our nation’s working people. Sadly, thanks to the earlier successes of our union forefathers, too many pilots have bought into the illusion that they were afforded special status because of the responsibilities and complexities of our profession. But, after 30 years of airline deregulation and five years of Glenn Tilton, is there any doubt left in anyone’s mind that pilots are members of the working class?

Many Americans have forgotten (or were never taught) that it was the labor movement that created the middle class. What people take for granted — the standard five-day work week, weekends off, time-and-a-half pay for anything over 40 hours, vacations, health care, retirement, family leave, enough pay to raise a family in middle class comfort, and, perhaps most importantly, to be treated by one’s employer with dignity and respect — were the result of decades of struggle and sacrifice by mostly anonymous union members.

After years of unregulated capitalism’s increasingly diametric boom-and-bust business cycles culminated in the Great Depression, the American people had had enough. They elected a President — Franklin Delano Roosevelt — who mobilized the American people to push through a whole series of laws — the New Deal — that gave real power to the labor movement, essentially creating the middle class overnight. Unfortunately, people’s memories are short, and as soon as they amassed a little wealth, they forgot their origins and started voting against their own economic interests. Labor unions made some Americans comfortable enough to forget the struggles and sacrifices that enabled them to obtain their wealth.

If American workers aren’t waking up, they should be. For most workers, the list of benefits taken for granted is increasingly becoming a fable, a myth. For hourly workers, median real wages peaked in 1973 and have been declining ever since, and this includes airline pilots. In fact, airline pilot wages have fallen considerably more than those of the average worker, and their downward curve has steepened dramatically in the past five years, as we all know through bitter experience.

Are we waking up? In my opinion, we are. After enduring the same ordeals that inspired pioneer airline pilots to band together and form the Air Line Pilots Association 77 years ago, we modern-day airline pilots are painfully relearning the same lessons: solidarity is the key to regaining what we have lost. But solidarity by itself isn’t enough to guarantee success — it must be accompanied by a cooperative and labor-friendly Congress and President. The opportunity to effect that change will present itself this November. As trade unionists, laborers and members of the working class, the choice should be simple.

Happy Labor Day.

In Unity,
<Name Removed>
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:50 AM   #2  
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Go Union. Happy Labor Day. Keep your politics to yourself.

WW
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:55 AM   #3  
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jsled, I think you've hit he nail on the head, and agree with you completely.
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:05 AM   #4  
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Default Credit where Credit is due..

jsled's post is from the United MEC, sent via e-mail yesterday.

Do we now know Batman's secret identity? Or did he forget to give credit?
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:37 AM   #5  
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Blah blah blah blah.... blah. Oh yeah... blah blah blah. Same old sh*t... different parchment.


Nothing is going to change unless airline pilots scrap their individual unions and form one association and truly unite as one.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:35 AM   #6  
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