The Strike That Changed AmericaWednesday, December 14, 2011
(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)When 12,000 U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan threatened that if they were not back on the job in 48 hours, they would be fired. Two days later, 11,000 of them, all members of PATCO, were terminated and permanently replaced. The PATCO strike not only changed the lives of those involved, it proved to be a key turning point in this nation for workers seeking a voice at their workplaces. Joe McCartin, Georgetown University associate history professor and director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, will explore the impact of the PATCO strike today at the AFL-CIO as he discusses his new book, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers and the Strike that Changed America. McCartin will be joined by former PATCO members and by Kenneth Moffett, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service at the time of the PATCO strike. Copies of his new book will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow.