Wynn Bombs Austin, Hits Soup

Against the Current, No. 3, May/June 1986

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 1986, Austin, MN-Shortly before dawn this morning, two slightly used Hughes helicopters bearing the marking “UFCW Standard Wages or Death” fired heat-seeking missiles at the headquarters of Local P-9 of the United Food and Commercial Workers in Austin, MN.

Three of the four missiles that were fired struck the ovens in the downstairs strike kitchen of the local union. No one was present at the time, but it is speculated that the missiles were attracted to the pilot lights of the union’s ovens.

A fourth missile went astray and struck the nearby home of Austin Police Chief Goodnature, who was frying Spam for breakfast prior to riot duty at the Hormel plant just outside of town. The missile did not explode but the Spam was rendered inedible.

United Food and Commercial Workers President William Wynn immediately claimed credit for the air strike against Local P-9. Wynn expressed sorrow at the Police Chiefs loss of breakfast and explained that the strike had been directed against the Local’s “Adopt a P-9 Family Fund” headquarters, which he claimed was the source of continuous labor terrorism and aggression.

Wynn described the action as one of “self-defense.” The helicopters and missiles, Wynn stated, had been loaned to the UFCW’s International Headquarters by the American Institute for Free Labor Development, which had previously used them to defend free trade unionism in an unspecified Central American Nation.

Wynn, regretting the destruction of the Local Union’s ovens, said that he was not aware that the missiles were heat-seeking. Wynn, a staunch critic of the Reagan Administration’s foreign policy, denied that his actions were inspired by President Reagan’s attack on Libya. He did, however, say that he regarded Ray Rogers, a consultant to Local P-9, as the Col. Qaddafi of the labor movement and P-9 President Jim Guyette as the equivalent of a driver of a dynamite-laden suicide truck.

Wynn, who wore camouflage fatigues and a black sweatband around his head, said that the airstrike was completely legal under article 23 of the UFCW Constitution. Wynn said he considered such a “surgical” strike preferable to direct trusteeship of the local-also permitted under article 23.

Wynn insisted that the money collected by the Adopt a P-9 Family Fund was actually being used to agitate other local unions in the UFCW and to bring the dangerous practices of P-9 to other unions as well. Wynn said he had exhausted the verbal and economic means of persuasion granted by the UFCW Constitution to get P-9 to end its strike against Hormel and its spreading of chaos and disorder to other unions.

Aware that his air strike had failed to destroy the Adopt a P-9 Family Fund records and had instead wrecked the local’s ovens and spilled the previous day’s soup, Wynn said that he would consider further action.

When asked about the air strike, P-9 President Jim Guyette said, “ls this guy nuts, or what?” Ray Rogers called Wynn the Anastasio Somoza of the labor movement. Guyette and Rogers agreed that the strike against Hormel would continue. They announced that a St. Paul local of the Boilermakers had just contributed new ovens to the local.

The author of this true-to-life but fictional exclusive wishes to remain anonymous. In real life, contributions should be sent to the “Adopt a P-9 Family Fund.”

May-June 1986, ATC 3

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