Patco Strike Essay

1591 Words Feb 6th, 2013 7 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…
More attempts to correct the substandard safety and equipment problems were made after the formation of PATCO. A sick out in 1969 was the second try at gaining concessions from FAA and congress. This attempt failed due to poor planning on PATCOs part, and an east coast television blackout. Ronald Reagan took the office of President of the United States on January 21, 1981. One of the first domestic events that he had to deal with was the PATCO negotiations. “The Carter administration had begun to make elaborate plans to deal with air 4

traffic controllers in early 1980”. Reagan had learned of the strike on a Sunday morning, when Transportation Secretary Drew Lewis informed him that the members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers union were threatening to strike. PATCO had endorsed Reagan during his campaign due to the plans by the Carter administration to single them out. “Reagan told Drew Lewis to inform the union president that he, Reagan, was probably the best friend PATCO ever had in the White House”. “Reagan agreed with them that their job pressures warranted a pay raise, but not the 100% increase that they were asking for, it would cost the tax payers $700 million dollars”. This pay increase would equal about a 10,000 dollar annual pay raise per controller. Reagan could not tolerate an illegal strike and would not negotiate with them if a strike was in process. “On the

Related Documents