Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

STUCK IN TAMPA

I spoke this morning in Naples at the Unitarian Church issues forum before the service. There were about 75 people present. My talk went over well and after lunch with my hosts I headed for the Tampa airport (a three-hour drive).

I was flying on Air Tran and was to head to Baltimore to connect to Portland. The problem was that my layover in Baltimore was only 20 minutes, not much time for delays. As it turned out the plane from Tampa was going to leave 30 minutes late and I knew I'd be spending the night in Baltimore because there were no more flights to Maine tonight. Then Air Tran announced that the flight was overbooked and they offered one free roundtrip ticket to anyone willing to give up their seat. No one took the deal. So they sweetened the offer to include two roundtrip airline tickets so I took the bait.

I pressed Air Tran to provide me with a hotel for the night here in Tampa (which they eventually agreed to do) so I am scheduled to return home in the early afternoon on Monday.

While standing in line at Air Tran, waiting to get all this straightened out, I could see the poor airline employees pulling their hair out of their heads. They were clearly short handed, dealing with loads of frustrated people, and one of the supervisers acknowledged to me that the problems of delays has been mounting in recent times.

The reason my plane was late leaving Tampa is that when it was pulling into the gate to unload, before we were to board, there were no Air Tran workers on the tarmac to guide the plane to the gate. So it sat less than 100 yards from the gate for well over 1/2 hour.

Like so many other corporations the airlines are cutting back on employees and making current workers carry out the jobs of 2-3 others. All of this means service is hurting and the consumer is left holding the bag. Profits come before service. Public relations experts are left to formulate media campaigns to repair the damage.

Expect more of these cutbacks in service as the price of oil impacts virtually every aspect of our lives.

Let's hope I make in home tomorrow without further delay. I need a rest.

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