Fired Nation’s unionized air traffic controllers

palabra86

Senior Member
Spanish
To what reffer "controllers"? I understand that it talks about people that weren't unionized, so I don't understand why they use here "fired" as if they were the head of the union already... any help please?

Yet starting in the 1980s and with increasing ferocity since then, private-sector employers have fought against unions. Corporate raiders demanded that companies boost share prices by busting unions or moving to non-union states. Ronald Reagan’s administration fired the nation’s unionized air traffic controllers and launched an all-out assault on workers’ rights, concentrating even more power in the hands of corporate executives.
Source: Why Unions Matter to You by Robert Reich
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I remember when Reagan did this, but I didn't remember anything about the union or nonunion status of the controllers. Apparently, many of these controllers did belong to a union, but there must have been enough nonunion controllers in the nation to carry on with the business of air traffic control after Reagan fired the unionized air traffic controllers...

    As I recall, many of the controllers attempted to go on strike, which prompted Reagan to fire them. He couldn't have done that if there weren't enough nonunion controllers to handle the air traffic in the U.S. at that time.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome. Because they were involved in an industry that was vital to the nation's security, the air traffic controllers had no right under federal law to strike or do anything else that endangered national security. Perhaps they underestimated the number of nonunion controllers who were available to replace the union controllers. They might have thought that they could force a renegotiation of terms even though the strike was illegal. They almost certainly underestimated Reagan's willingness to take bold, risky action when he thought the nation's security was in danger.
     
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    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Air traffic controllers manage aircraft in controlled airspace. They're responsible for preventing collisions and keeping the air transportation system running.

    Regarding the strike, US air traffic was severely perturbed for months or even years. The government fired eleven thousand controllers; it was ten years before the pre-strike level of staffing was achieved.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I do remember some disturbances, AnythingGoes, but I don't remember a time in which the country's air traffic was totally paralyzed.

    If one did occur, it probably didn't last for long. I had to take a few flights shortly after all that news broke out. I'm not claiming that my experience was proof of anything, but I sure didn't notice any difference in the flow of traffic through airports during that trip. And that general efficiency still existed a couple of years later when I needed once again to travel by air in the U.S. If U.S. air traffic was severely perturbed, that wasn't anything that I noticed at that time in my own experience.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    AnythingGoes is correct - it was 10 years before former staffing levels were attained. The use of supervisors and military air traffic controllers maintained air traffic, but most people who had to fly during the beginning of that period did notice the problems. Ironically, PATCO, the air traffic controllers union, had endorsed Reagan rather than Carter in the election.
     
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