This Month in NATCA/Labor History
Friday, July 27, 2012

This Month in NATCA History:

July 2, 1982: PATCO files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. President Gary Eads says the union has $5 million in assets but owes $40 million, including $33.4 million to airlines for violating a 1970 injunction against striking.

July 22, 1987: The Aviation Safety Commission, created by Congress in 1986 to develop recommendations on improving air safety, holds its first day of hearings. NATCA national organizer John Thornton presents a six-point improvement plan.

July 21, 1995: The FAA and Qantas finish the first test of the satellite-based Future Air Navigation System, designed to improve communications between controllers and pilots flying oceanic routes.

July 30, 1996: National Aviation Research Institute (NARI), a nonprofit offshoot of the controllers union, holds kickoff ceremonies. This outgrowth group of NATCA was created to ensure that human factors are considered in air traffic control research and development projects.

July 12, 2000: NATCA headquarters dedication: FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, numerous other agency and union dignitaries, and rank-and-file members attend an event to dedicate the new headquarters as the Krasner Building. The main conference area on the first floor is named the Michael McNally Conference Room.

This Month in Labor History:

1877: Workers stage what is believed to be the nation’s first general strike in support of striking railroad workers. The successful strike is held in St. Louis and ends when some 3,000 federal troops and 5,000 deputized special police kill at least 18 people in skirmishes around the city.

1932: Federal troops burn the shantytown built near the U.S. Capitol by thousands of unemployed WWI veterans, camping there to demand a bonus they had been promised but never received.

1933: Congress passed first minimum wage law.

1948: President Truman issues Executive Order 9981, directing equality of opportunity in armed forces.

1959: A half-million steelworkers begin what is to become a 116-day strike that shutters nearly every steel mill in the country. Management wanted to dump contract language limiting its ability to change the number of workers assigned to a task or to introduce new work rules or machinery that would result in reduced hours or fewer employees.