Friday, January 16, 2009

This Miracle Brought to You by America's Unions

Marcy Wheeler has an excellent post up at the emptywheel blog:

They're calling it a miracle--the successful landing of a US Airways jet in the Hudson and subsequent rescue of all 155 passengers. They're detailing the heroism of all involved, starting with the pilot and including cabin crew, ferry crews, and first responders. What they're not telling you is that just about every single one of these heros is a union member.

There's the pilot:

Sullenberger is a former national committee member and the former safety chairman for the Airline Pilots Association and now represented by US Airline Pilots Association. He--and his union--have fought to ensure pilots get the kind of safety training to pull off what he did yesterday.


There are the ferry crews:

They're represented by the Seafarers International Union. They provide safety training to their members so they're prepared for events like yesterday's accident.

Read the entire post.

Thank goodness that plane did not come down in a river somewhere out in one of those red-state rural areas of this country that Sarah Palin likes to call the "real America." Those highly-trained and skilled blue-state New York City policemen, firemen, Coast Guard and commercial ferry crews are as real American heroes as you will ever need.

Wouldn't it be great if everywhere in this country we had as competent and highly-trained union professionals responding to disasters as they have there in New York City?


Daniel said...

I live in a city famous for having the lowest percentage of union workers of any northern big city in America, Rockford IL. Luckily, our firefighters, police, and teachers are members of unions and therefore well trained professionals. But if we did have water taxies and ferry boats on our Rock River, they most certainly would NOT employ union trained workers.

I believe that the union movement has prepared millions of ordinary Americans to become heroes in two ways. First, workers are prepared in the straightforward manner, “trained for emergencies”, illustrated so well in this blog. Second, they are prepared in a more subtle manner, a general empowerment of workers. Heroism requires people to break free from the typical human response to an horrific event, that is, being frozen with indecision and weighted down with a feeling of helplessness. The union movement, I would argue, is the training ground for bold and confident workers, a training ground for competent and heroic people like those yesterday on the Hudson River.

Anonymous said...

Let's here it for unions, solidarity!

splendid said...
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