National Mediation Board

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Mar 13 19:32:26 MST 2001

Shortly after my last post, I discovered later on in Petzinger's chapter
that deregulation only applies to the bosses. When all the rules were
removed affecting traffic across state borders, pricing, etc., one
important rule was left in place, namely the right to dictate whether
airline workers could strike or not. The National Mediation Board was
founded in 1926 after a series of militant rail strikes. It would have
jurisdiction over rail and airlines. It established 30 day cooling off
periods and all the rest. Meanwhile, nobody ever put a 30 day cooling off
period on Frank Lorenzo or Bob Crandall's homicidal attacks on wages and
working conditions in the airline unions. I also discovered that George
Bush senior declined to declare a cooling off period against Eastern
Airline pilots in 1989, stating "The best answer is a head-on-head,
man-to-man negotiation between the union and the airline." Of course, the
fact that Jesse Jackson had organized anti-Lorenzo demonstrations at
Harvard on the occasion of Lorenzo's 25th graduation anniversery while the
AFL-CIO was protesting at the offices of Merrill-Lynch might have had
something to do with it. That's obviously what's needed now.

Louis Proyect
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