Chimps, Chumps, and Air Traffic Controllers

Georgetown University professor Joseph McCartin has a book coming out in October about the enduring significance of the 1981 Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) strike.  McCartin, a historian of the labor movement, also parlayed his expertise on that subject into an op-ed for the New York Times.  In the essay and the book, McCartin contends that Ronald Reagan's toughness with PATCO thirty years ago transformed his presidency and helped to shape the modern workplace. Not having seen galleys for the book, I cannot address the full scope of whatever McCartin has written there, but his August 2 essay for the Times was interesting in its own right.  Editors called the piece a look at "The Strike That Busted Unions."  Oddly -- and this may be an occupational hazard for anyone sympathetic to progressive causes -- McCartin emphasized not "union-busting" per se, but the rhetoric that led to it as a defining moment of the Reagan presidency.  That a B-movie...(Read Full Article)

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