The midsummer strike against five major airlines did more than inconvenience the nation; it further deteriorated the American worker’s sense of public responsibility. Since many political leaders react timidly to the powerful labor union bosses, the unions readily amplify their misuse of power; the escalation of strikes has reached railroads, newspapers, the New York subway system, and now national air transport. In the Great Society, ironically, it appears that everyone may have to shift for himself after all.
The distinguished Friends philosopher Elton Trueblood, scheduled for a major interview for these columns, was unable to get a plane out of Detroit—and for all we know may still be there. To appear in a television panel on “Is God Dead?,” Baptist theologian Bernard Ramm reached Washington from Minneapolis only by flying through Dallas. These were minor inconveniences alongside those of hundreds who forewent attendance at funerals or weddings or had to postpone long-deserved vacations.
Many Americans now take for granted the blessing of air travel. Those of us who have been trapped abroad in crippling transport strikes—especially in Italy and France—are sorry indeed to see the same irrationalities and irresponsibilities marring the American scene. Perhaps the day has come for establishing labor courts to provide rational, judicial settlements of labor-management disputes.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.