Today is the 30th Anniversary of the PATCO strike. Regardless of whether you believe they were right or wrong, the controllers of PATCO stood up for what they believed in. Don Brown wrote this post this morning and WWVB had this to say. With the benefit of hindsight, Reagan’s firing of air traffic controllers gave big business the “permission” they needed to get even more serious about union-busting.
Had he not done that, where would we be now as a country? Would our collective wages and benefits be better? Would it be easier for families to live on one income? Would our workplaces be safer? Would businesses actually be doing better because there would be more disposable income (and vacation time for those workers to spend that extra income)?
Seems to me our current President and the Democratic leaders are giving a similar “permission” to the Republican/Tea Party types lately with the debt ceiling/budget fiascos. Now Ray LaHood and Randy Babbitt are suggesting that the Senate accept the House version of FAA Reauthorization because the House has picked up its toys and gone home for the rest of the summer – their own little mini-strike. Can’t conduct meaningful business if they’re not there. Meanwhile, those still left to do business are on a mini-strike of their own – letting their backbones turn to mush.
So who really is PATCO and who is President Reagan in our current scenario?