The last remaining Machinists on strike against Eastern Airlines in Atlanta folded their tent Friday - Eastern's dead, their strike is over and the union benefit checks have stopped.
Union leaders officially ended the 22-month-old walkout on Thursday.So on Friday they carried furniture, kitchen utensils and a television set out of the rundown, borrowed house just south of Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport that had served as strike headquarters.
Mike Martin, who was with Eastern 14 years, looks back at the past two years with unbridled anger.
"It's devastated me, that's what it's done," Martin said. "I've lost half my family, and I'm fixing to lose my home. My wife took off and took my daughter with her."
But like other union members facing an uncertain future, he expressed no regrets about their strike.
"We had no choice on that," said Jim Woody, who had 21 years with Eastern before the March 1989 strike.
Eastern, which tried to rebuild after the walkout through bankruptcy court reorganization, went out of business Jan. 18.
Union members streamed in and out of the strike headquarters Friday, loading pickups and cars with furnishings to take to the local union office.
These were the few who had kept on picketing at Hartsfield right up to the end. In contrast to the boisterous early days of the strike, the pickets lately went mostly unnoticed by travelers hurrying through the airport.
Atlanta was Eastern's largest hub, and about 1,400 former employees in the area were still receiving union benefits when the company went under. The issuance of the final $100 weekly checks this week marked for some strikers the end of their only income.