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View Diary: Thirty years later, Reagan's Patco strikebreaking still shapes our economy (135 comments)

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  •   The no-strike clause legally made it possible for (5+ / 0-)

    then-president Reagan to fire them. But the lifetime ban on those air traffic controllers ever working for the government again seems to me to be vindictive and unnecessary. And most people have no clue whatsoever there was a no-strike clause, so this made firing people for union membership acceptable in many people's minds.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 03:21:10 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Upthread... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      VCLib indicates

      Each individual air traffic controller, as a condition of employment, signed a pre-employment affidavit in which they agreed never to strike and it was clearly stated that they would be terminated if they did strike and not eligible for federal government employment.
      which I assume to be true. Barring the fired workers from working for the Federal government hardly seems more vindictive than the firing itself.

      As I recall at the time, PATCO spent most of their PR energy after the firing predicting gloom and doom for the ATC system, which of course never panned out. At that point, I understand why they were not emphasizing that the strike was, in fact, in violation of their agreement since that would have made them less sympathetic. However, by PATCO not emphasizing this more, I wonder if the public became a little more comfortable with similar actions involving Unions in other cases where there are, in fact, no such agreements.

      The ATC firings really strike me as a case of PATCO leadership failing their membership. The leadership knew the possible dire consequences of the strike and gambled recklessly with their members' livelihood.

      •  vindictiveness (0+ / 0-)
        Barring the fired workers from working for the Federal government hardly seems more vindictive than the firing itself.

         Reagan could have said something like "alright we won, you lost, you've learned your lesson, now come back to work as a non-union air traffic controller". Allowing those people to work again would have showed some character, some decency on his part. And, I can't believe having inexperienced air traffic controllers made things any safer.

        Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

        by Dirtandiron on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 04:33:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  nonsense (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, desert rain

        As I already pointed out, the postal workers had done the very same (illegal) thing just ten years previously-----and they won even after Nixon sent in the US Army to break the strike.

        There was no "reckless gamble" on PATCO's part. What they did was no different than the postal workers, police unions, city transport workers, etc etc etc were all also doing at that time.

        The reckless part was when Reagan unilaterally changed the agreed-upon tacit rules that everyone was playing by.

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