Just read McCartin's writing in the NYT [8/3/2011edition] editorial about the PATCO strike in 1981...I was there as an active strike participant and a few facts were deleted, incorrect or overlooked...all in defense of Ronald Reagan...just as the coprorate media is STILL trending to accomplish-part of the coordinated project designed to "positively revise" Reagan's rather nasty history I'd guess.
First: There were over 15,000 of us air traffic controllers who went out on strike. My guess is that the author used figures based upon those who were secretly let back in [infiltrators], those who were allowed to retire in lieu of getting fired, and those who were able to get back in via some technicalities or errors in the paperwork and the like.
Second: Ronald Reagan was spying upon his own SAG members on behalf of the FBI-J. Edgar Hoover during the search for communists that were part of the Joseph McCarthy [sp] era.
Third: Lech Walessa[sp] was on his way to the USofA to SUPPORT the PATCO strike but Reagan's Administration somehow held him up in Canada [Montreal I think] and he was never allowed to join us.
Fourth: Its surprising that McCartin didn't jump into the files of The Wall Street Journal just down the road to get the statement by Pope John Paul II in which he made the point that the ONLY power a human being has is their ability to withold their labor...he was supportive of our strike.
Fifth: Its also surprising that no mention was made of Donald Regan, RR's chief of staff at that time [I believe]. As we now all know, presidents are basically pre-selected [talk to John Perkins and his understandings of "corporatocracy" and its product placement...aka...our POTUS]. Regan was big into the corporate world and indeed did some significant work at hijacking the event into becoming a club to be used to beat labor down.
Sixth: But perhaps the biggest cover-up involved McCartin not mentioning the crash of an Air Florida B737 during a "rushed departure" from Washington National Airport. This accident occurred because of the inexperienced replacement air traffic controllers at National Tower were unaware about the problems that the B737s had with engine nacelle icing during snowy/slushy runway conditions. The Air Florida B737 was "booted" [a term describing the need for an IMMEDIATE take-off ] for a quick departure because there was a B727 [Eastern I believe] on a one mile final...and the Air Florida B737 had been held for departure because there was a small twin engined aircraft that had just landed but had not cleared the active runway. This scenario is a "separation violation" to start with because there were three aircraft within about two total miles...and of course it was all buried by the FAA and NTSB. From our [PATCO's] sources, the rushed departure of the Air Florida B737 caused the flight crew to forget to turn on the engine nacelle deicer and both engine nacelles iced up a few moments after departure and it fell out of the sky onto the 14th Street Bridge. There is file footage of Drew Lewis...the head of the FAA or DOT at that time...walking on the 14th Street bridge after the accident. He was touted to be a "fast riser" in the governemental ranks...and soon faded from that path never to be heard of again. His under staffed and unsafe air traffic control system had just killed many people.
This scenario is the exact same profile of Federal Agency abuse as seen on Manhattan within a few days of the attacks on 9.11.2001 where the head of the EPA, Christy Todd Whitman was ORDERED by the White House to claim that the air was safe to breath when indeed, facts were avaialbe proving that it was NOT safe to breath.
Sixth: More of an inside tidbit here...The FAA took PATCO's "Second Career" program off the table and replaced it with us getting our "own personal lockers". The Second Career Program allowed for traing into an another line of work should an ATC no longer be able to pass the physical exams that were required at that time. This had been negotiated in earlier agreements and by withdrawing this from barganing, and offering only 40 Million in pay raises [less than the PR campaign against us cost]...and many other issues, showed us that they WANTED us to strike. The Post Office was at the barganing table next and the message needed to be issued to the much smaller ATC union so that the huge numbers [300K-400K] of Post Office employees would fall in line...which they did.
Seventh: Its only in hindsight that the PATCO strike has been credited with impressing Gorbachev...which was also reported in The WSJ-Labor section. Its highly unlikely that such tactics were considered ahead of time. However, once I read that from Gorbachev, I KNEW the strike had been lost because I fully knew about RR and his fear of the Soviet Union...apparently the CIA had kept the USSR's frightening status alive in RR's mind because they knew that the USSR was on the decline well before RR took office. Again we can parallel the attacks of 9.11.2001. IE: The USSR fell out of the way as an "Evil Empire" to be feared and to justify the Pentagon's bloated budgets...and...the 9.11 attacks created the "replacement evil empire"...aka...now its the the fear of the Muslim world which has been used to more than DOUBLE Pentagon-Intel-Security Complex ANNUAL funding.
Seems that only the dates, modalities and the names change...the patterns continue...and the PATCO strike did indeed become the club upon the head of labor...ALL labor...unionized or not.
Stand up for what you want...or bend over fro what you get.
At least its much more clear now than then and we will see if this country stands up or bends over.
Michel Moore made this point in Madison during the latest protests...the very point that we were hoping would happen back in 1981. He made it clear that the country should have taken a stand with PATCO back in 1981...and then perhaps these "anti-labor" times wouldn't be part of today's worker-exploitive scene.
love, peace and progress...and stand up for goodness sakes!
robin hordon Kingston, WA