Air Traffic Controllers and the Reagan Administration
(Date of submission)
PATCO was launched in late 1960s by F. lee Bailey. The members of this organization were to adhere to aircraft’s standards of separation. The organization was later announced that it was not a professional association. The organization was termed as a trade union. The controllers found that it was too unfair for this organization and decided to react. In 1981, many controllers became impatient after months of negotiation with the government and went on strike. In contact talk, the president of the professional Air Traffic Controllers Association who was Robert ...view middle of the document...
Reagan offered to increase their wages with 11 percent, but they were not satisfied with the amount. The union also demanded a 100 percent increase in their salaries. However, it was during this time the new president was working to stabilize the federal budget. He therefore refused their demand and decided to fire them. There are many reasons associated with the difficulty of the strike to Reagan. Firstly, PATCO had to a great extent support Reagan in his campaign for presidency the previous year. He therefore, had great friends in the union’s leadership. Secondly, Reagan was a leader of the union in the past. In 40’s and 50’s, Reagan served as Screen Actor’s president. He therefore sounded a notice to the members of the union that he was the best friend they could ever have and therefore expected him to agree with his decision.
Under 1947’s Taft-Hartley act, the strike of PATCO was illegal. Reagan therefore had the power to order the controllers back to their job. However, many of them did not go back to work. Reagan said that, the role of controllers was very important to the power of the America. He ordered them to go back to work and a deadline of 48 hours. The leaders of the union did not comment on the issue and they used silence as a bargaining tool. However, they clearly understood their key role in national security and the consequences of the actions.
The congressional Democrats showed partnership and backed the president in the matter. The president allowed some democrats to make noise but a democratic action was taken to the president. After 48 hours, the president fired the striking workers. He later apologized and said that he did not rejoice in...