Going For Broke at Eastern

The strike disrupts travel and could bankrupt the airline

Few labor-management battles in the 1980s have matched in bitterness the feud between Texas Air Chairman Frank Lorenzo and the machinists at Eastern Air Lines. Since 1987 the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (I.A.M.) has staunchly resisted Lorenzo's demands for wage concessions. At midnight last Friday, after more than a year of federal mediation failed to produce an agreement, the union launched a strike that is producing havoc for the carrier's 100,000 daily passengers and could throw East Coast airports and other transportation hubs into turmoil.

The walkout by some 9,000 Eastern machinists, baggage handlers and other I.A.M. members...

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