Bucking the Pink Slips

Dear_________: This is notice that I intend to remove you from your position of Air Traffic Control Specialist ..." So begins the letter, signed by Federal Aviation Administration supervisors— that has been mailed to more than 11,000 striking air-traffic controllers since President Reagan ordered them fired beginning Aug. 5. The Administration was relying on two solid legal justifications:

Title 5, Section 7311 of the U.S. Code, which states that a federal civil servant may not continue to hold his job if he takes part in a strike against the Government; and the oath, signed by all federal employees, not to strike. But...

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