March 5, 1989 – Eastern Airlines’ Picket Problem – Tower’s Confirmation Battle – Baker’s Viennese Waltz
March 5, 1989 – Eastern Airlines was in the labor spotlight this day. The Machinists on strike were reported to be abiding by court orders and not set up picket lines at commuter railroads. Union officials said they would be appealing court orders. Union spokespeople said the majority of Americans were on the strikers side and were fed up with Eastern Airlines’ Frank Lorenzo, who was Chairman of Eastern’s parent company Texas Air. Eastern admitted its service had been a mess since the strike began with only 100 flights out of 1,100 getting off the ground. The company was trying to get its pilots to cross the picket lines because Eastern was losing an average of $100 million a day. But good luck on that.
Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, the Confirmation hearings for John Tower as Defense Secretary were plodding along. Tower declared that he would not withdraw his nomination despite stiff Republican opposition. Democrat James Exon of Nebraska told reporters the GOP was fighting a losing battle with even some Republicans admitting it was pointless opposition. Confirmation hearings were slated to continue the following day and approval was expected shortly.
A big conference was scheduled to open the next day in Vienna on reducing conventional forces in Europe. Secretary of State James Baker was there to meet with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze.
And representatives of 120 nations were meeting in London to discuss how to save the Ozone shield protecting the earth. An American scientist said the Ozone layer was continuing the deteriorate until about the end of the century, even if harmful chemicals are banned immediately. A Soviet delegate said that data indicated the Ozone layer over Europe and parts of the Western Soviet Union had already been depleted by up to 25%.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this March 5, 1989 as reported by CBS Radio’s News On The Hour.