September 30, 2000
P.O. Box 5166
Chatsworth, CA 91313
Aloha Jeff. I just wanted to send you my sincerest thank you for all of the assistance you gave me earlier in the year. I have been meaning to write this letter to you for a long time and I apologize for the delay. The Northwest Airlines lawsuit that I was included in and their tactics for silencing free speech on the Internet was more that I ever imagined could happen in this country.
Jeff, I have always believed that information is a powerful tool and that sharing information creates unity and strength. When I started the union web site for my coworkers I believed it would create unity and educate many of my coworkers on the contract and labor issues at Northwest Airlines. In my 19 years here at Northwest Airlines we had never seen the contract prior to voting on it. I believed it was time to make an educated vote and for all to see the contract and discuss the issues. I never imagined the millions of dollars Northwest Airlines would spend to stop our unity and keep its workers in the dark. It has been one heck of a year.
I remember the day I first called you and asked for your advice. You told me that I should go directly to the press and television. I immediately called Barbara Harvey and Paul Levy, my attorneys and told them what you had said. It took a while to get to the press and so much happened since that day that I am still amazed that we made it through without going insane. The Northwest attorneys pulled every stunt in the book to bury us in work and court room costs. Paul and Barbara are two wonderful people and with your help we managed to stop Northwest Airlines in many ways from making a mockery of the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution. With the help of the press the NWA shenanigans were made public to the world.
As for the struggle for a decent contract the battle was lost. People were intimidated by the Big brother lawsuit and went into hiding and were silenced. The education and unity we had created was still there but people were afraid to speak out. At one point I was ordered by the court to track down those who spoke out against Northwest and the tentative contract. Judge Arthur Boylan in Minnesota, who ordered the computer searches and allowed many of the shenanigans to take place will hear more about it in the future. We fought the tracking people down tactic and I never did do it. It turned out later that NWA had bee doing it all along using another company.
We did learn a lot over the course of time though and believe our next contract struggle will be even better for it. Our unity is still there and the education process continues as we have moved on to issues concerning job safety and health.
Jeff, the “contract struggle” which started this legal episode in my life is not over. The issue of Free Speech and the rights we have as citizens has taken on a new meaning. I have been asked to talk about my case and will do so. Recently I received a call from 20/20 to do a segment interview. I have never been much of a public speaker but will give it a try. I would like to mention you in the interview if I may as one who has given me an incredible amount of assistance along with my attorneys. Would you mind? Your assistance during this past year has been greatly appreciated and I am forever in your debt.
Well, Jeff I want to thank you again for all you have done for me. If there is ever anything I can do to repay the favor please let me know. If you are ever in Honolulu please look me up, as I would like to meet you. Thank you again Jeff and have a great day.
Kevin M. Griffin