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NATCA Mourns the Passing of AFL-CIO President Emeritus John Sweeney

WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi, who serves as a Vice President on the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council, issued this statement today as NATCA mourns the passing of AFL-CIO President Emeritus John Sweeney:

“John Sweeney was a giant presence in the House of Labor, and his influence was felt throughout the labor movement. John forever holds a special place in NATCA’s history because it is his signature, as the President of the AFL-CIO in 1998, that is on our charter from the AFL-CIO accepting us as a direct affiliate.

“John’s strengths were in the area of worker collective power, and the example he set was extraordinary. We extend our sympathies to his family and friends. We join all of our fellow AFL-CIO affiliates in honoring John’s memory with our own examples of union pride and solidarity.”

MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

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The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 5 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 114 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

PICTURED BELOW: In 2008, at NATCA’s 12th Biennial Convention in Miami, John Sweeney, with NATCA President Paul Rinaldi (left, then NATCA’s Executive Vice President), and former NATCA President Patrick Forrey.