The Air Controllers Controversy: Lessons from the Patco Strike

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9780898853193: The Air Controllers Controversy: Lessons from the Patco Strike
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Identifies the causes and issues of the 1981 Air Traffic Controllers' Strike, and discusses the impact of the mass firings on the controllers

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About the Author:

Arthur B. Shosta retired in 2003 after 42 years as a sociologist, the last 37 spent at Drexel University. He writes full-time and has added nine books since retirement to his list, bringing it to 31, along with more than 150 articles. He is a charter member of the new PATCO labor union affiliated with the OPEIU, AFL-CIO, and has written several journal articles to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1981 PATCO Strike. An advocate of ever more creative use by Labor of computer power, he continues to do research and publish on the topic at www.cyberunions.net. He welcomes feedback at shostaka@drexel.edu

David V. Skocik, trained in the military as air traffic controller, later worked for the FAA in New York until the 1981 strike. Like many of his former peers he has experienced a myriad of opportunities, including owning a small contracting business, serving as a college administrator and assistant professor, and emceeing annual community events, including an award-winning TV game show for Comcast since 1992. Since 2000 he has been a commercial insurance representative in Dover, Delaware, in addition to serving in the US Navy Reserve. He can be reached at dskocik@aol.com.

Review:

Many trade union members and outside observers alike believe that the defeat of the air traffic controllers' strike in 1981 marked a watershed in the contemporary history of the American labor movement. In this view the decision by President Reagan to fire controllers who did not return to work and the failure of other trade unions to adequately support the strikers prompted many employers to adopt a harder line in relation to organized labor. Plant closings, demands for concessions, and the unilateral abrogation of contracts through bankruptcy declarations represent some of the tangible results of the PATCO debacle. This study offers an inside look at the forces that produced one of the most dramatic labor-management confrontations of the modern era. The transformation of PATCO from a supervisor-dominated association into a militant union of white-collar professionals in the late 1960s and 1970s paralleled the dramatic growth of the nation's air traffic system. As the number of daily flights increased, controllers becarne increasingly resentful of their treatment by their employer, the FAA. Its unwillingness to seriously deal with continuing controller concerns over job stress, retirement plans, and salary inequities, along with PATCO's own organizational problems, made the 1981 strike inevitable. Of particular importance is the book's insight into the behavior and beliefs of PATCO members. The authors lay bare the conflicts experienced by individual controllers as they attempted to balance their responsibilities to the public, their commitment to their country and its laws, and their sense of themselves as highly trained professionals. The study would have profited from additional editing. The opening sections of the narrative do not mesh well and appendices comprise nearly 20% of the text. The heavy reliance on a 1984 survey for examples of the thinking of PATCO members presents a one-sided view of controllers' perceptions of the strike. Even with these limitations this work should be required reading for anyone concerned with the state of collective bargaining in the United States. As the title suggests, there are many lessons to be learned from air traffic controllers' controversy. A failure to heed those lessons can only result in future repetitions of the PATCO conflict. -- From Independent Publisher

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780595398157: The Air Controllers' Controversy: Lessons from the PATCO Strike

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ISBN 10:  0595398154 ISBN 13:  9780595398157
Publisher: Authors Choice Press, 2006
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9780898853209: The Air Controllers' Controversy: Lessons from the Patco Strike

Human ..., 1986
Softcover

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Shostak, Arthur B., Skocik, David
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