Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dang. There goes another irony meter.

Pretend you are studying for the IAAT (Irony Appreciation Achievement Test). Which word or phrase best describes the following true story:

a) Fratricide
b) Cannibalism
c) The ongoing struggle against management, the greedy exploiters of the working man.
d) Yours in solidarity union bro ... Hey, wait a minute, who are you calling a greedy exploiter?

The following is an ALPA Public Statement of a Strike by Administrative Employees dated May 12, 2006:

The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) has been informed by the leaders of the Union of ALPA Professional and Administrative Employees, Unit 2, that their members are on strike effective 12 noon May 12, 2006.

Since March of this year, ALPA and Unit 2 (which represents the union's clerical and administrative employees) have been negotiating with a goal of reaching a consensual agreement on the terms of their collective bargaining agreement. Earlier this week, ALPA and Unit 2 completed a tentative agreement that contained merit salary increases, delayed health care cost increases, and improved several other areas of the contract. Unit 2 members have rejected that TA.

Management believes that the TA sufficiently balances the economic realities of the airline profession we serve and the needs of the fine employees who work so hard for our members. The hard reality remains that our pilot members have suffered grievously these past five years. Salary cuts, furloughs, pension losses and escalating health-care costs make it impossible for ALPA to grant the salary increases and health care caps Unit 2 seeks.

The highlighted sentence, in as much as it echoes the same argument airlines make, and unions are so quick to belittle, comprehensively detonated my titanium irony meter.

I guess I'll have to save -- oh heck, I'm an American, I'll just whip out the plastique -- for an irony meter made out of 24 karat unobtanium.


Blogger Duck said...

A textbook example of recursion. Even unions have unions to contend with. As Homer Simpson once cursed, "Damn poetic irony"!

May 18, 2006 5:43 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Speaking as someone who has lost several jobs because of real or imagined union organizing, the irony seems not so strong to me.

Rather, it could be taken as an endorsement of the notion that every worker needs a union.

Now, to be told by a newspaper editor that I could not interview one of his reporters because he did not permit them to speak to reporters. That's irony.

May 18, 2006 10:46 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


You are right, the charge of hypocricy would be far more fitting against ALPA.

But since I am convinced irony is the driving force of the universe, then this is irony, even if it isn't.

Kind of like the position some people take against evolution.

May 19, 2006 5:57 AM  

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