On May 9th, contract negotiations between Honeywell Aerospace and their workers at plants in Green Island, NY and South Bend, IN broke down, and the workers (members of United Auto Workers) were immediately locked out of work. Replacement workers have been brought in for these past months while the workers remain locked out, seeking to negotiate a fair contract. Moral Monday in support of Honeywell workers
If there was a list of ‘worst companies in the world’, Honeywell would be near the top. Beyond the typical tax-evading of massive global corporations, Honeywell has a disastrous environmental record, being linked to more Superfund sites than any other corporation in the US. Though they have many divisions of production that are beneficial (you’ve probably had a Honeywell thermostat at one point) the Aerospace division has held military contracts for decades, and in the past been criticized for the production of cluster bombs.
So what’s a peace-and-justice-minded labor organizer to do? The plant in Green Island produces aircraft brake pads. While I’ve been told most of these are for commercial purposes, some undoubtedly are fulfilling military contracts. It’s not like there’s another brake pad engineering plant down the road where these workers can find new jobs.
I wish there were an easy, ideologically pure answer, but I don’t think there is. I can’t fairly argue that these workers are more complicit in the US-imperialist machine than I am (I, and most of the peace activists I know, still pay taxes). If the struggle is between the 99% and the 1% – there’s going to be some strange alliances as we all figure out and work to extract ourselves from our complicity in destructive systems. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen when we support one another and show solidarity in our shared struggles.
These workers are getting screwed by a multi-billion dollar corporation. I know which side I’m on.
– Joe Paparone