Dozens of Alliance shipyard workers went on strike last week to demand improved employment conditions, but were dismayed when they realized no one had even noticed.
"We get no respect," said despondent Shipyard Foreman Merreck Vonder, gazing out at the empty docks and inactive bilge pumps. "We slave away for our Commanders tirelessly, for hours on end, real back-breaking work to make sure our naval expeditions are the best they can be. But they could care less! And then we walk off the job, to take a stand and make a point -- and they don't even notice we're gone!"
"Just last week my crew finished building a magnificent new Battleship," lamented Vonder, taking another swig of his Rumsey Rum Black Label. "60-foot lacquered masts, meticulously hand-carved rails, elementium cannons imported all the way from the Eastern Kingdoms...probably the finest ship I've ever built. Vonder's Pride, I named it, before sending a runner to fetch the Commander."
Vonder pounded his fist on the abandoned mission table. "And d'you know what she said? 'Really, Vonder? A crew of dwarves?' And then she ordered it destroyed, and told me to start building her a new one!"
"Now, I'm not trying to imply the Commanders are racist or anything," whispered Vonder, leaning in close. "But doesn't anyone else think it's just a wee bit odd that they all seem to just want human crews? Just saying!"
Even these human members are not entirely pleased with their life in the shipyards. "I've always wanted to be an Alliance sailor, ever since I was a little kid," said Quinn, a Boatswain participating in the strike. "But how can I write my family back in Westfall and tell them I'm proudly serving on the H.M.S. Jeff? Or that today I helped put the finishing touches on our new Destroyer, The Nut Vice??"
When asked if these were the only issues shipyard workers were dissatisfied with, Vonder sighed and shook his head, producing a long scroll of names from his vest pocket.
"These are all the brave men and women we've lost at sea these last few months, sent off on suicidal, harebrained missions," said Vonder bitterly. "I keep telling management, 'Commander, look at these storms! We can't possibly sail under these conditions!' or 'Commander, please! These ships you've selected aren't equipped to battle Horde submarines! We'll be blown out of the sea!' But they never listen! They send the ships out anyway, not even caring if they return safely home, and for what? A chance at a hundred gold? Some new boots??"
"Anyway, we had a long talk with our union rep, and he agreed that we shouldn't have to put up with this," said Vonder defiantly. "He recommended a full labor strike -- deny the Commanders our well-trained and highly-specialized services until they are forced to acknowledge our concerns and treat us better!"
"Wait, who? The shipyard? My shipyard?" said human Commander Kanta, when she heard about the strike. "Actually, come to think of it, it did seem a little quiet when I rode past the other day. But I was on my way to fish up some lunkers to impress Nat Pagle, so I had more important things on my mind."
When asked what she intended to do about the strike, Kanta laughed. "What am I going to do about it? Um, nothing?" She shrugged. "It's the shipyard. I stopped going there weeks ago. Who even cares?"