This Week in NATCA/Labor History
Monday, June 13, 2011


June 12, 1986 — NATCA on Capitol Hill: NATCA National Coordinator John Thornton and Chicago Center controller Fred Gilbert testify before the House Post Office and Civil Service Subcommittee on Human Resources. They say the ratio of air traffic to journeymen controllers has started to “exceed the acceptable, prudent level.”

    The hearing is held in conjunction with an ill-fated effort to pass H.R. 4003. The bill, introduced the previous fall by Rep. Guy Molinari, R-N.Y., and carrying at least 138 co-sponsors, would have authorized rehiring at least 1,000 PATCO controllers who were fired.

June 18, 1989 — Controller benefits: The FAA launches a five-year Pay Demonstration Project providing a bonus of up to 20 percent of base pay to about 2,100 controllers, flight standards, and airways facilities workers at eleven hard-to-staff facilities in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oakland areas.

June 15, 1994 — ATC facility expansion: The FAA commissions twin control towers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, making DFW the only airport in the world to have three working towers.

June 17, 1997 — NATCA organizing: The union files a certification petition with the FLRA to hold a national election on whether NATCA can represent FAA engineers and architects. This would be the first new bargaining unit for the union since it was established a decade ago.


1945: The U.S. Supreme Court invalidates two sections of a Florida law: one required state licensing of paid union business agents, the other required registration with the state of all unions and their officers.

1981: Major League Baseball strike begins, forces cancellation of 713 games. Most observers blamed team owners for the strike: they were trying to recover from a court decision favoring the players on free agency.