10/5/07

Space shuttle strikers break record

A strike by 450 space shuttle workers broke a record on the Space Coast on Wednesday. The picket line has continued for 113 days, which is the longest strike ever at Kennedy Space Center, WESH 2 News reported.

The workers and management can only hope it will end soon. It's been so long that the picketers are making themselves at home with equipment such as fans and rocking chairs.

Life on the picket line isn't easy, but management sent a message meant to tell workers it's not ready to end the strike. Temporary replacements for the striking shuttle workers are being hired.

The workers interpreted the message differently. They said the company is showing signs of strain. "I know they're having a hard time. There is no way that you can lose this many workers, this many seasoned people doing these jobs," striking shuttle worker Louie Hanna said.

Kevin Propst's wife has cancer, but she's missing her treatments because the couple has no insurance while on strike.

"This space program means everything to all of us, and that's why were fighting here to keep these jobs," Propst said.

The workers run the cranes that lift the shuttle, operate the crawler that rolls it out and provide logistics at the launch pad.

The strikers believe something is about to give, but management said it can run the shuttle program without them.

They've rolled out the shuttle for launch now for the second time since the strike began.

(wesh.com)

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