With a strike now underway at Northrop Grumman's Ingalls shipyard, a serious blow has been dealt to the Jackson County economy, indeed the economy of the entire gulf coast. It's an economy that is still struggling to overcome the ravages inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. And the longer the strike lasts, the greater the damage.
Everyone loses. The workers who lose the comfort of a steady paycheck, and the company that falls behind in it's shipbuilding schedule. But there are others too.
Retailers don't sell as many goods and services. Restaurants don't sell as much food, and theatres don't sell as many tickets.
This strike could not have come at a worse time, just when the storm recovery was well underway. That's why we strongly urge both sides to sit down and talk.
Workers want more money and benefits. Northrop Grumman feels the company made a fair offer. But there is a middle ground, and room for compromise.
Both sides must be willing to bend and come to a fair resolution. And do it quickly, because in our post-Katrina world, there is little margin for economic error.
Our recovery depends on the shipbuilder and its workers reaching an agreement that both can live with.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to email@example.com.