This Week in NATCA/Labor History
Wednesday, March 23, 2011


March 26, 1986 — NATCA Western-Pacific conference: MEBA Western States Coordinator Kelly Candaele organizes and chairs the meeting in San Francisco, which is attended by more than thirty controllers from all regions except Alaskan. Rep. Norman Mineta also attends.

March 24, 1987 — NATCA certification election: The FLRA schedules an election for May 6 through June 10 to decide whether NATCA will represent the nation’s controllers. The move comes after a consent meeting attended by NATCA, the FAA and the FLRA. Several interested parties voice favorable reaction:
MEBA President Gene DeFries: “For too many years, controllers have sacrificed to keep the system going without having a voice when air traffic system decisions were being made. Representation will mean not only better conditions at work, but will enable controllers to play an important role at a time when critical air traffic system decisions are being made by the Congress and the FAA.”

    AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland: “Air traffic controllers will have the chance, through a vote for NATCA, to have an effective voice in bringing about improvements in working conditions at the FAA. The public also needs NATCA as a strong voice speaking out for improved safety conditions in the air traffic system.”

    ALPA President Howard Duffy: “Pilots and controllers are partners in professionalism, essential to maintaining America’s aviation system as the best and safest in the world.”

March 20, 1998 — NATCA affiliation: The AFL-CIO Executive Council unanimously votes to accept NATCA as a direct affiliate to the union, the first time the international labor organization takes such action in four decades.

March 23, 1999 — NATCA organizing: The FLRA certifies NATCA as the exclusive bargaining representative for FAA workers who issue Notices to Airmen.


March 21, 1853: American Labor Union founded.

March 23, 1932: Norris-La Guardia Act restricts injunctions against unions and bans yellow dog contracts, which require newly-hired workers to declare they are not union members and will not join one.

March 23, 1974: Coalition of Labor Union Women founded in Chicago by some 3,000 delegates from 58 unions and other organizations.