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News :: Labor
Support group forms for NWA strikers
24 Aug 2005
Striking Northwest Airlines workers will receive donations, food and other assistance through a new support group formed by union and community members.
nwadvanc.jpg
Support group forms for NWA strikers

By Barb Kucera,
Workday Minnesota editor — August 22, 2005

ST. PAUL — Striking Northwest Airlines workers will receive donations, food and other assistance through a new support group formed by union and community members.

The group, modeled after a similar solidarity organization that operated during the Hormel strike, kicked off its efforts Monday night at a program commemorating the 20th anniversary of the struggle by members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local P-9.

Members of the P-9 Support Committee "got a priceless education and our lives were really transformed," said Macalester College Professor Peter Rachleff, who chaired the committee and is one of the organizers of the new support group. "We clearly see why the struggle of the mechanics at Northwest Airlines is our struggle also."

Some 4,400 mechanics, cleaners and custodians represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association struck Northwest late Friday night. They oppose management demands to cut 2,000 jobs and slash the pay for remaining workers by 25 percent.

AFMA Local 33 President Ted Ludwig and several AMFA members attended Monday's program at the St. Paul Labor Centre and asked the overflow crowd for support. Those in attendance responded by contributing more than $1,000 in small donations.

The new support group will have its first meeting Saturday, Aug. 27, at 10 a.m. at the Local 33 office, 8101 34th Ave. S., Suite 380, in Bloomington. In addition to Rachleff, organizers include Northwest Machinist Kip Hedges and union organizer Ryan Murphy.

The group is in the process of setting up a food bank to aid the strikers, who are receiving no strike benefits from their union.

Ludwig said his members have received many shows of solidarity, from people honking their car horns in support to dropping off food for picketers. "We are humbled by that," he said.

For more information
Visit the AMFA Local 33 website, www.amfa33.org

-- 30 --
See also:
http://www.amfa33.org
http://www.aflcio.org

This work is in the public domain
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