25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

November 26, 2018

November 29, 1993

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — At 7:00 a.m. November 18, some 21,000 flight attendants struck American Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier.

American Airlines’ operations were paralyzed in the opening hours of the strike, according to flight attendant Kelly McGreen. “They have flights going out, but with cargo only.” McGreen said that flights out of New York were grounded and that workers at the Ogden service company, which fuels the planes, refused to cross picket lines at Newark, halting traffic.

At Chicago’s O’Hare airport, 500 flight attendants held a spirited picket line the night before the strike, chanting “We want a contract!”

APFA officials say the strike will last 11 days, through Thanksgiving, and a decision will be made at that time whether to continue. Many pilots have joined picket lines.

November 29, 1968

Student strikes, mass meetings of workers, and protests by intellectuals swept Czechoslovakia during the Nov. 14-16 meeting of the Communist Party’s central committee in Prague.

Student sit-ins began Nov. 15 at the agricultural college at Olomouc, in Moravia. The following day students occupied the agricultural college of Prague University. By Sunday the strike had spread to Charles University in Prague and to the Moravian capital of Brno.

By the time excerpts from the central committee resolution were published Nov. 18, more than 100,000 students were occupying school buildings throughout the country for a three-day strike.

The central committee statement made no reference to freedom of the press. The resolution suggested that censorship would be tightened.

November 27, 1943

The U.S. Supreme Court joined the Roosevelt-Biddle campaign to deal crushing blows to labor and to destroy civil liberties by its Nov. 22 decision denying the petition to review the case of 18 members of the Socialist Workers Party and of Minneapolis Motor Transport Workers Local 544-CIO, convicted under the infamous Smith “Gag” Act.

The lengths to which the despots in Washington are prepared to go in their campaign to outlaw the workers’ right of free speech and in suppressing the genuine voice of revolutionary socialism is clearly indicated by this unheard-of-procedure of the highest legal body in the land.

The roots of the Minneapolis Smith “Gag” Act trial reach down into the war policy of the Roosevelt government. That government is bent on beating down all labor opposition to its course.