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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gestures while making a point about children's education at The Latino Coalition during the Annual Economic Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, May 23,
Mitt Romney kicked off his profit-making years at Bain Capital with a little bit of union-busting. In 1984, Bain invested in Key Airlines, a struggling charter operation, with Romney investing in the airline personally and becoming one of its directors. The idea, of course, was to turn it around for a profit—but an effort by pilots to unionize might have complicated such a deal. So Key illegally squashed the effort:
“The anti-union activities in this case are not merely unfair labor practices as Key argues, but blatant, grievous, willful, deliberate and repeated violations of the Railway Labor Act,” Roger Foley, federal judge for the District of Nevada, wrote in 1992, in a case brought by two Key pilots. [...]

According to the court ruling, Key held coercive meetings with pilots; said management would leave and the company lost contracts; and told pilots that salaries, bonuses and benefits could be frozen. Federal labor law forbids an airline “to interfere in any way with the organization of its employees”.

Two of the pilots were forced to sign resignation letters. Of the 21 pilots who initially wanted to organize a union, just two voted for the union following Key's anti-union intimidation campaign. Though these events happened in 1985 and 1986, the ruling that Key management had acted illegally didn't come until 1992. By that time, Bain had long since sold Key for $18 million.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Aug 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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