FAA History Lesson -- March 25 (09)

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Mar 25-Apr 10, 1970: Some 3,000 air traffic controllers, all members of PATCO, engaged in a "sick- out" strike. All but a few of those involved were en route, rather than terminal, controllers. Some remained absent for a day or two, others for the entire 17-day period. The work stoppage reflected widespread discontent, but its immediate trigger was FAA's decision to ignore PATCO's protests and carry out the involuntary transfer of three controllers from the Baton Rouge combined station-tower. The absentees claimed sick leave, but the Department of Transportation viewed their action as a strike against the U.S. government and hence illegal. The government obtained temporary restraining orders against PATCO. When the union failed to comply with these orders, a show-cause order was obtained against its officers. During the hearing on the show-cause order, PATCO agreed to call off the "sickout." FAA suspended nearly 1,000 controllers and fired 52 for their role in the affair. (See Feb 18, 1970, and Apr 23, 1970.) “

For my new readers, this isn’t the first time I’ve covered this topic. I caution you about drawing too many conclusions from just one history lesson. You might think that having 52 controllers fired would leave a lasting impression on PATCO. And it might have -- if they weren’t all rehired at a later date. Well, except for Mike Rock of course.

Get the Flick has been around for awhile now. There’s no telling what you might find if you start looking. Speaking of which, the search box at the top left of the page next to the “Blogger” icon is the place to start. For instance, if you type in PATCO, it will return this page. Happy hunting.

Don Brown
March 25, 2009


Unknown said…
My Father was one of the 52 who got fired because of the 1970 sick out.

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