News Update from Committee in Solidarity with Striking Workers at Northwest Airlines


The following message from the Northwest Workers Solidarity Committee was posted on the Internet on August 28, 2005.

Saturday morning’s Solidarity Committee meeting was a significant success, bringing together nearly 50 activists from unions such as SEIU, AFSCME, the Teamsters, and CWA, as well as community activists and members of the AMFA strike committee. After the meeting we proceeded over to the AMFA solidarity rally, where several thousand gathered to demand a fair resolution to the struggle and an end to Northwest’s union busting tactics.

We raised $435 dollars at the Solidarity Committee meeting, which we will immediately reinvest in a variety of publicity materials, including “I Support Northwest Workers” T-shirts, posters, and buttons. We will begin a visible, public show of solidarity to counteract mainstream media and NWA-fueled misinformation that the strikers are isolated and lacking support.

Several important action items and dates came out of the meeting. They are as follows:

  1. SCAB HOTEL LUNCH PICKET: Tuesday, August 30, at 11:30 am in front of the Radisson at the University, one of the central facilities housing the scabs. Hosted by the U of M AFSCME locals. The hotel is located on Washington Avenue at the corner of Harvard Street in the heart of the University [of Minnesota]. Parking is available both at the Weismann Museum ramp and in the remote lots near University Avenue and Huron Blvd. The site is also widely accessible by Metrotransit buses and trains. Visit www.metrotransit.com for the quickest routing.
  2. EXECUTIVE RESIDENCE PICKET and DEMONSTRATION: Help show Northwest’s top corporate officers what we think of their union busting tactics! Carry picket signs, raise your voice, and join in the performance. Thursday, September 1, 3 pm.   Meet at AMFA strike headquarters in the AmeriSuites parking lot on the I-494 frontage road, just off the intersection of 34th Avenue and I-494 (the site of the Saturday rally).  This will be THE event of the week!
  3. LABOR DAY PICNIC LEAFLETING: Help us hand out Solidarity Committee leaflets at the Labor Day picnic on Harriet Island in Saint Paul. Help us educate and mobilize the labor community, and solicit further donations and resources for the food bank and other material support for the strikers. Place and exact time TBA shortly.
  4. ADDITIONAL SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE DEMONSTRATION: A group of activists is meeting to coordinate the logistics of another solidarity committee demonstration, either at the airport or at one of the scab hotels. Additional information will be available shortly.
  5. FOODBANK FOR STRIKING WORKERS: Final preparations are being made for the food bank for the striking workers. As soon as it is operational, we will have leaflets and a strategy to solicit fund from other unions, community events, and sympathetic workers at the airport and other work sites. More information shortly on opportunities to help us do outreach for the food bank. We are also opening a credit union account so donations can be made directly to the Solidarity Committee and food bank.
  6. PICKET HELP: Please help the strikers on the picket line any time you have a chance.  Shifts are available 24 hours per day, around the clock. Picket shift changes are at 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm, 8 pm, 12 midnight, and 4 am. However, you may volunteer to picket for ANY amount of time, WHENEVER your schedule permits. To picket, PROCEED TO AMFA STRIKE HEADQUARTERS in the AmeriSuites parking lot on the I-494 frontage road near 34th Avenue in Bloomington. You will be transported by the picket coordinators to an appropriate field site. For security reasons, you must follow this procedure, rather than simply showing up on the picket line.
  7. PUBLICITY AND VISIBILITY: We have over 300 members on the national solidarity statement with the AMFA strikers that is being circulated by Peter Rachleff and other Solidarity Committee members. Once the circulation is finished we will release this as part of a broader press strategy that highlights the diversity of union and community support that is rapidly expanding in response to the strike.

The next Northwest Workers Solidarity Committee meeting will be next SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, at 10 am, at the office building at 8101 34th Avenue South (same location as this week). Please attend to help carry all of these events forward.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Please let us know by replying to this address if you can help with some office work related to managing data and information for the Solidarity Committee. With the rapid growth of strike support, we will need many hands to help keep up with all the work!