The 40th Anniversary Of The PATCO Strike: The Strike That Changed American Labor
On this edition of Your Call, we rebroadcast our conversation about the legacy of the Reagan administration’s anti-union tactics. Forty years ago, 13,000 air traffic controllers who were members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), went on strike.
They were demanding an annual wage increase, upgrades to outdated equipment, and a reduced workweek. Two days later, former President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 of them. What has the lasting effect of strikebreaking been on workers?
Joseph McCartin, Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he is founding Executive Director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. His books include Labor’s Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, and Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America
The American Prospect, Joseph A. McCartin: Reaching the End of the PATCO Era?
Jacobin, Glenn Houlihan: The Legacy of the Crushed 1981 PATCO Strike
In These Times, Joe Burns: The PATCO Strike, Reagan and the Roots of Labor’s Decline
NPR: 1981 Strike Leaves Legacy for American Workers