Crickets Chirp as Obama’s NMB Nixes Flight Attendants’ Right to Strike*
With an Obama agency denying workers' "rights," where are all the union protesters?
Granted, it would probably be bad optics for union bosses to put a Hitler mustache on President Obama. However, the way they’ve been prattling on of late about so-called “rights,” you’d think union bosses would be filling up the buses and hightailing it to Washington to storm the offices of the National Mediation Board.
You see, while the right to collective bargaining in the government sector is dubious at best, in the private-sector the right to strike is supposed to be sacred…right? So, why aren’t the unions out protesting in front of the NMB over the agency’s decision to refuse to allow the flight attendants at American Airlines their right to strike?
The U.S. isn’t allowing flight attendants at financially strapped American Airlines to walk the picket lines any time soon, and that could change the tone of labor negotiations across the industry, some experts said Friday.
Wait. What? You mean it’s okay that workers’ rights are being denied because a company is financially strapped, but not when a state is financially strapped? Why the double standard?
The National Mediation Board, the U.S. agency that referees labor-management relations for airlines [and railroads], has ignored a request made a year ago by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, asking the federal government to release it from negotiations for what’s called a 30-day cooling-off period, which then allows for a strike.
For almost three years, American Airlines flight attendants have been in talks with management, seeking improved wages and benefits as well as more job security. But management has refused to deal until the union allows it more scheduling flexibility for workers in order to increase productivity.
The NMB later said the carrier’s fragile finances and the weakened national economy would weigh heavily on its decision, according to the union.
The NMB said it would not comment on any ongoing labor negotiation.
“The political reality is, to a large extent, defined by the state of the economy,” said APFA President Laura Glading in a statement. “Consequently, it is clear to us that the White House will avoid any kind of disruption. And we cannot lose sight of the fact that the National Mediation Board answers to the White House.”
So, the NMB is actually considering the impact of its decision and denying workers their fundamental right to strike? On top of that, union bosses are quietly going along with it without comment or…protest? How interesting. How unique. How hypocritical.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
[*Note: The purpose of this post is not to encourage a strike at American Airlines. Rather, it is merely to point out the blatant hypocrisy of today's union bosses and their behavior over this past month.]