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Two Schools of Thought on Eastern’s Relationship With Striking Workers

Have you ever heard of union leaders telling their members that parity has been reached? Telling their members that they are entitled to no more pay increases? Of course not, and you never will.

It is ingrained in the system that union leaders are forced to seek ever more benefits for their members until the company involved is driven to bankruptcy, or closure. Witness the history of the steel companies in this country.

In the case of Eastern Airlines, the tale is being repeated. That airline company has been losing money for more than two years--$900 million in the red over the past two years is one figure cited. Another is the daily loss of $1.5 million. That should tell (union members) something. There is no way for such losses to be sustained much longer. Frank Lorenzo is saying just one thing. That is that workers take a pay cut and retain their jobs, allowing Eastern to operate in the black, or the jobs will forever be gone.

I believe that the Eastern union workers would be well served if they had a chance to talk to other union workers who have lost their jobs by pricing themselves out of the market. You simply can’t demand ever more money for your labor. If you do, you will be doomed to joblessness. The smart way to play the game is to determine which avenue to take that would lead to the most money over one’s working career.

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EDMOND R. GUNNY

Los Angeles


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