Air Traffic Controllers Walk, President Reagan Fires PATCO Strikers The Theme, Anti Union <


AvStop Magazine Online
Air Traffic Controllers Walk, President Reagan
Fires PATCO Strikers The Theme,  Anti Union  

(see Air Traffic Controllers Walk Reagan Fires PATCO Strikes)

August 17, 1981, Over 85 percent of the 17,500 air traffic controllers go on strike for better working conditions and improved wages. Ronald Reagan outraged with the strike informed the air traffic controller to return back to work or the government would assumed the striking controllers had quit. By the end of the week over 5,000 PATCO members (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) has received dismissal notices from the FAA.

The Federal Courts ordered the union leader to send their works back to work. However, union leaders refused to do so. The courts began jailing union leaders, fining the union per day at close to one million dollars a day. The unions strike fund of more than 3 million dollars was frozen.

This force the airline industry to cut back services of over 50 percent. Supervisors were required to fill those position left by the striking controllers. They were assisted by military controllers. Reagan called for a meeting with the press. Reagan stated to the press that Congress in 1947 passed a law forbidding strikes by Government employees. Reagan read aloud the non-strike oath that each air controller, and indeed any federal employee, must sign upon hiring. Reagan further stated the strikers are in violation of the law, and if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated. Many of the PACO strike members did not return back to work and as a result were fired.

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