This Week in NATCA/Labor History
Wednesday, January 12, 2011


January 15, 1968: Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) is established.

January 11, 1986 — NATCA holds its first national organizing meeting: About two-dozen controller activists, MEBA organizers and representatives from across the nation attend the gathering in Alexandria, Va., to formally kick off the organizing effort. The AATCC logo created by Howie Barte, which MEBA graphic artists converted to the name NATCA, is used officially for the first time. The same logo is still used today.

January 13, 1989 — NATCA’s first contract: NATCA and the FAA reach tentative agreement on their first contract. The three-year pact includes 77 articles. Major provisions include:

• Immunity from reporting operational errors.
• Breaks after two consecutive hours on position.
• Official release of NATCA representatives for NTSB accident investigations.
• Guaranteed leave for pre-natal care.
• Development of a controller-in-charge program.
• Assurance of annual leave during prime time (summer and holidays).
• Operational error review boards.
• Local-level negotiation on watch schedules.
• Uniform dress codes.
• Formation of joint committees on technology, compensation, benefits, working hours, and such.
• Midterm bargaining allowed for personnel and technical issues.

January 13, 1991 — Controller benefits: An 8 percent pay raise called an “interim geographic adjustment” is given to 5,933 FAA employees at facilities in the New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco areas.


1942: Pres. Roosevelt creates the National War Labor Board to mediate labor disputes during World War II. Despite the fact that 12 million of the nation’s workers were women -- to rise to 18 million by war’s end -- the panel consisted entirely of men.

1962: President John F. Kennedy signs Executive Order 10988, guaranteeing federal workers the right to join unions and bargain collectively.

1980: Former AFL-CIO President George Meany dies at age 85. The one-time plumber led the labor federation from the time of the AFL and CIO merger in 1955 until shortly before his death.

1993: Clinton-era OSHA issues confined spaces standard to protect workers who enter confined spaces, thereby preventing more than 50 deaths and 5,000 serious injuries annually.