Labor: Out of the Ashes of PATCO

For the illegal strike in 1981 that led to the mass firing of 11,400 of its members, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) paid the price of failure: it disbanded. For the past three years, as their ranks were gradually rebuilt to a current level of 12,000, most federal air controllers have been without union representation. Now, just as the Federal Aviation Administration is preparing to lift the last of the strike-related traffic restrictions from the airways, three groups of controllers in New York and the Washington area have petitioned to reunionize. Their complaints: overwork and FAA mismanagement,...

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