case of the PATCO strike revolves around air traffic controllers whom belong to
an organization called (PATCO) which stands for Professional Air Traffic
Controllers Organization. They play a very important role since they control
the traffic of planes that flow in and out which can be risky since the
slightest error can make a plane crash which puts lives at risk. So, there is
already much stress that comes with the position of being a traffic controller.

                 In this case we have an ethical
issue since the air traffickers of PATCO in 1970s want to go on strike. However,
due the fact that they are employees for the U.S federal government at that
time in the 1900s it is illegal for unions whom work for the federal government
to go on strike. During the 70s PATCO still went on ahead to strike up against
the (FAA) which stands for the Federal Aviation Administration which the PATCO
strikers worked for. The PATCO workers went on strike over many things that
would be fair to fight for as any other unions would being wages along with
working conditions.

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                 Once the PATCO negotiators
agreed on a contract that if it were to be approved by congress would give
workers great pay raises, increased severance pay, an enhanced voice in
operating, also a voice in safety in making policy. The contract was rejected
and were told by President Reagan that the strikes are to be band since they
are illegal. Then four hours after the strike were told by President Reagan
that strikers have 48 hours to get back to work or their jobs will be
terminated. This resulted in over 11,000 workers not returning to work and
getting fired.

                 At the end the striking of
PATCO failed and took a major public defeat from the Reagan administration who
attended the demands of the workers with a cold fist and left them with nothing
but a two-way street option to either work or be fired. This case put organized
labor to shame and some even took extreme measures to even call out sick from
work because striking while working for the U.S federal government is illegal
and looked down upon if you are a federal government employee.

                 Was it ethically acceptable for
the air traffic controllers to strike? I believe it is ethically accepted for
the air traffic controllers to go on strike they did not hurt anyone and had
demands that most unions would have. The country of America is known as the
country of freedom and free speech whether it is good or bad everyone deserves
a chance to state their opinion to the matter at hand. According to an to an
article in which lists the right of an American citizen, the most
important one of all is "freedom to express yourself" (uscis, 2017). How President
Reagan approached the PATCO strikers was not only unethical but goes against
everything the United States has fought to stand for and the freedom which
separates us from other countries.

                 Was it ethically acceptable for
President Reagan to fire the striking air traffic controllers? No, it was not
ethically acceptable for President Reagan to fire the air traffic controllers.
Even if he was against the strikers the least he could have done is give them a
chance to state why their demands should be meet considering it is a stressful
job, but the worst part is that he didn't give the PATCO strikers a reason why
their contract was refused or any closure at that. In a website article in it says that President Reagan took advantage of the anti-union Taft
Hartley Act, that had been legislated by President Harry Truman in 1947. What
this law does is it empowers presidents of any party to break strikes and it's still
exist today (Neidenberg, 2006).

                 A key principle I would relate
to this case from chapter 3 is PATCO
strike which involved President Reagan firing the air traffic controllers
during the illegal strike in 1981 (Budd, 2018, p. 98). This resulted in the hiring of over
11,000 replacement workers.

                 Another key principle that
related to chapter 3 is open shop
movement which was created in the early 1900s with the purpose to "create
and maintain union-free workplaces" (Budd, 2018, p. 83). The movement wanted to portray an
ideology of individual freedom, which is what the PATCO stickers wanted even
though it was illegal to form federal sector unions and go on strike. The PATCO
workers fought till the end and wanted to be seen as having the same rights as those
from the open shop movement.

                 The key principle of revolutionary unionism in chapter 3 is
presented in the case which "tries to create working-class solidarity rather
than solidarity by occupation or industry and ultimately seek to overthrow
capitalism" (Budd, 2018, p. 79). We see that in the case the PATCO
workers were fighting to have a voice in operating and safety making so they
could have a say in the matter rather then having supervisors and managers
making all those decisions. This was in the contract the Reagan administration

                 Another key principle relating
to chapter 3 and this case is business
unionism which "emphasizes immediate improvements in basic employment
conditions such as wages, hours, and working conditions" (Budd, 2018, p. 73). These are basic
improvements many unions fight for and so did the air traffic controllers and
was on the contract congress turned down.

                 Last key principle I would
apply to this case from chapter 3 is Memphis
sanitation strike which not only demanded improved wages and working
conditions, but also civil rights and respect (Budd, 2018, p. 98). Even thought air controllers were
apart of a federal sector which made it legal to have unions they stood against
Reagan till the very end which earned the PATCO strike much respect for what
they did regardless of being in a federal sector.

                 A personal experience of mine
that relates to this case is when I first saw the impact a union can have for
it's workers. When I lived in Canada there was an issue for teachers at York
University concerning the female teachers and how they did not make as much as
male teachers. So once the female teachers stopped working to strike outside
preventing students to finish classes the University saw the major impact all
the female teachers had and gave in to their demands. And a manager can apply
what I have learned from this by being ethical to those demands of their
employees and not resolve it with a cold fist as President Reagan did.


Budd. (2018). Labor
Relations Striking a Balance 5th edition. New York: McGraw Hill
Neidenberg, M. (2006, augest 14). What can be learned from PATCO
strike? Retrieved from
uscis. (2017). Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities. Retrieved