Patco Strike

1580 WordsJan 28, 20137 Pages
REAGAN AND THE PATCO STRIKE OF 1981 On August 3, 1981, nearly 13,000 of the 17,500 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) staged a walk out and strike. There were four main reasons the union members of PATCO decided to go on strike. First, to address the concerns by members who felt that their work was seriously undervalued and under-rewarded. The second reason was that the Federal Aviation Administration had neglected serious deficiencies in staffing and hardware reliability. Thirdly, their work week was unreasonably long, especially when compared to controllers overseas. The fourth reason for the strike was the FAA’s (FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION) approach to management-union relations and the…show more content…
FAA management declared negotiations terminated until controllers resumed their jobs. PATCO leaders stated that the strike would continue until the items in their contract were satisfied. Leaders within the union had thought that with the reduction of qualified manning, all air traffic would come to a standstill. PATCO could not foresee that the FAA would go against their own rule for air traffic control, and run the system with only 5 15% of the experienced work force. The FAA moved to place 500 military controllers to replace the ones out on strike, to work alongside the 2000 controllers that did not walk out. They also prioritized scheduled flights at major airports to keep 50 percent available during peak hours. All of this helped to continually improved air operations. ‘Figures released by the FAA showed flights on schedule increased to 65 percent on Monday; 67 percent on Tuesday and by Thursday it was up to 83 percent’. “Reagan held a press conference that morning, in the Rose Garden and read a statement, citing the pledge that all controllers had taken, never to strike. Reagan told the striking controllers that they had forty-eight hours to return to their jobs, or, he would consider their jobs forfeited and they would be terminated and would not be rehired”. When the 11 am deadline on the 5th of August arrived, of the 13,000 air traffic controllers that had walked out, only a
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