JUNE 13, 2007 – Workers in the US stand at the threshold of a new era in the labour movement – taking the class struggle into space. Close to 600 NASA launch workers – members of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers – reached an impasse in contract negotiations at the beginning of June.
The IAM was in negotiations with the imposingly named “United Space Alliance” – an alliance between Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. The very composition of this alliance is just about perfect. Lockheed Martin – as documented by Michael Moore’s film “Bowling for Columbine” – is the planet’s biggest arms producer. Boeing – which used to be mostly a civilian airplane maker – has returned to profitability by remaking itself as an arms maker for the Pentagon. And think of the initials of this cabal of war-mongers … “USA”. Only in America.
The issues were better pay, better working conditions, and that other all-American issue – better health insurance coverage. As we went to press, the threat of strike had receded. But if the workers do choose to strike – they have an ace up their sleeve – the space shuttle Atlantis is in orbit, and is scheduled to return later this month.
The solar system is our picket line.
© 2007 Paul Kellogg. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.
 Chris Bergin, “United Space Alliance Strike,” June 14, 2007, https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8188.40.
 Harry Wessel, “Pensions Lost in Space,” McClatchy – Tribune Business News, February 27, 2007.
 Michael Moore, Bowling for Columbine (Dog Eat Dog Films, 2002), https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310793/.
 Michael Moore, “Film Footnotes: Bowling for Columbine,” n.d., https://web.archive.org/web/20100416110106/http://www.michaelmoore.com/books-films/facts/bowling-columbine.