I had no reason to comment on this issue but after reading the Jamaica Observer editorial today, I felt compelled to say something. The editorial is entitled “Those misguided Air Jamaica flight attendants” and it basically lambasted them for taking strike action and reference was made to one customer’s letter of disgust with the industrial action.
Ok…well I am no flight attendant, never was and never will be. However, I like to look at things from the “underdog” perspective. As Karl Marx said, the only thing workers have is their ability to sell their labour from one owner of the means of production to another. Doesn’t that make sense? That is why one is able to get a job, paid a wage and when another wage buyer comes along with an offer, we can make that ultimate decision: to stay or not to stay. We are paid a wage for our loyalty as well as insurance that our needs are somewhat satisfied and we will have no need to overturn the place where we work and take over. That is reality. But back to the flight attendants’ issue, while I do not know the intimate details other than what the media has decided to share, I can say that the best way to get some action is to strike unannounced. It is non-effective if people are given notice. There have been threats of strike the world over…..but nothing beats the element of surprise. It says “since you don’t value my work, safety, input, salary, or whatever my case is, see what it is like in the absence of my services”. I totally agree.
It is human nature to think of self first then others after. Do you think about your boss when your house is on fire? You’re abnormal if you do. Therefore, for the Jamaica Observer to call these people selfish, unpatriotic, misguided or uncaring is just plain ridiculous and unfortunate. Should I care if the cost of a barrel of oil rises for my job or for my pocket when it affects both? Should I be thinking of the economic and social implications of a strike when I can’t buy food or I have to work under the conditions they claim they are? Let’s get real! The point is, people always think of themselves first and their problem is the biggest problem to them as opposed to others.
So yes Jamaica Observer, it is clear that the thoughts of the flight attendants were entirely of themselves and not that of Jamaica……and?