[Excerpt] The signing on December 7, 1983, of the financial-relief-and-worker-role-in-management agreement at Eastern Air Lines marked the culmination of a four-year effort by IAM District 100 to respond effectively to Eastern management and to an abruptly changing environment in the airline industry. It was also the beginning of a new phase.

Beset by a hostile management, the devastating effects of airline deregulation, a deep recession, and the general anti-union climate in the country, the leadership of IAM District 100 felt it had forged a way out of a vicious and debilitating cycle. The basic principles for this way out—or "model" if you will—included: exhaustive research on the actual conditions and operations of the company; an aggressive policy of taking the initiative rather than waiting to react; an insistence on reciprocal and equitable efforts and sacrifices; and the demand for a real augmentation of the decision-making role of workers and their union in the operations of the company.