This Week in NATCA/Labor History
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
THIS WEEK IN NATCA/ATC HISTORY:
June 11, 1987 — Controllers vote for NATCA certification: More than 80 percent of all controllers cast ballots. Seventy percent—7,494 to 3,275—vote for NATCA to be their sole bargaining agent.
MEBA President Gene DeFries characterizes the results as a “victory for all air traffic controllers who have carried the nation’s air traffic system on their backs for nearly six years, with excessive overtime and stress.” He adds that the election is “a turning point and the start of a new trend” for American labor. “It shows what can be done to organize professions.”
National Coordinator John Thornton sets a tone of collaboration: “We are looking for a constructive relationship with the many people in the FAA who understand that the system needs improvement and that a good relationship with NATCA can help improve it. Can we be successful? We feel that we can by being an active participant, not a spectator, in the decision-making process.”
Charter members begin signing Personnel Management Form 1187, which authorizes the FAA to deduct union dues (1 percent of step one base pay) and send them to NATCA.
June 6, 2001 — Air traffic control modernization: The FAA and The Boeing Company’s air traffic management unit each unveil long-range plans for improving the ATC system.
The FAA’s plan, estimated to cost $11.5 billion, consists of several projects already in development. Some of these include: STARS; improved ASDE ground radar; data link (e-mail to reduce voice communications between controllers and pilots); and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, a satellite-based navigation tool that provides pertinent information about an aircraft to controllers and other pilots in the air.
Boeing’s blueprint relies heavily on satellites to provide navigation and communication services. Air traffic management unit President John Hayhurst stresses that his company’s plan would minimize the need for ground-based facilities.
THIS WEEK IN LABOR HISTORY:
1936: The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, later to become the United Steel Workers of America, is formed in Pittsburgh.
1966: Some 35,000 members of the Machinists union begin what is to become a 43-day strike – the largest in airline history – against five carriers. The mechanics and other ground service workers wanted to share in the airlines’ substantial profits.