Pointless display marks anniversary

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 11, 1999

It’s almost fitting that the one-year anniversary of the Steelworkers’ fight with Titan Tire of Natchez was marked by an ugly display.

Saturday afternoon members of the union marched through the gates at Titan and entered the plant yelling obscenities and names at workers inside. It was a mob scene.

The name calling and cursing is nothing new to the squabble. But trespassing on private land and violating the privacy of taxpaying workers, or scabs as the union members screamed, must not be allowed.

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As of late Saturday night, no charges had been filed on either side of the dispute, but we think there should be.

And although no one with the union will ever admit it, we fear that many of the instigators at Saturday’s fiasco weren’t even locals.

Four buses lined the streets near the union hall on Gayosa Avenue. The buses carried Steelworkers into Natchez from as far away as Uruguay to add to the crowd on hand. Union members will say it was simply a show of solidarity. We believe it’s a sign that national-level union leaders are still calling all of the shots.

As one local rank and file union member said from the picket line shortly after the incident, &uot;Those folks aren’t locals. They don’t mess around.&uot;

His words said volumes about the situation.

Local union members still remain largely out of the loop on dealing with Titan.

We can only hope that the culprits in Saturday’s display are brought to justice and that the people of our community won’t have to endure such a flagrant display of disrespect again.