Thank you Ms. Wohlfeil for investigating the ramifications of the BTC strike for students ("BTC students frustrated as faculty strike continues"). While I do not know all the details of each side of the issue, it doesn't seem like the union wars of today parallel the labor vs. owners animosity of the steel mills and Pullman cars era. In 2012, BTC faculty members overall received higher salaries than their liberal arts counterparts at Whatcom Community College, according to data site data.spokesman.com; this is even after the pay cuts received between the 2011 and 2012 pay cuts (The News Tribune's Washington salaries chart).
At this point, it seems to me that both sides are leveraging the students' well-being for their own purposes. One commenter on the Bellingham Herald site made a very interesting point: Len K. reminded readers that if the union had waited until classes started to strike, these students could have received their financial aid to help get by, even if classes were paused for a few days after that.
What struck me most about Wohlfeil's well-written article was the final paragraph, where she writes: "the faculty strike is illegal under state law". Hmmm...