In New Orleans this Super Bowl week, there are plenty of fans sporting 49ers' red and gold caps and jerseys and Ravens' purple and black gear. But there also are thousands of union members—including many from unions in the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO (GNO)—who proudly display their union label and are making the game possible and the fan experience in the Crescent City run smoothly.
If you’re getting ready to board a plane home after Thanksgiving or still fretting about safety in the crowded holiday skies for the upcoming holidays, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)—the people who guide you home—offer five reasons to feel better about air travel.
When 12,000 U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike 30 years ago, 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, who were unable to ever work again in their field, it proved to be a key turning point in this nation for workers seeking a voice at their workplaces, according to Georgetown University professor Joseph McCartin.
National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi says “the most important piece” of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on aviation safety is this: “The [Federal Aviation Administration] FAA has taken several steps to further improve safety at and around airports.”
The Republican shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has thrown 4,000 FAA employees out of work, and some 70,000 construction workers employed on airport improvement projects can’t go to work because Republicans have blocked funding for the agency and the projects.
UPDATE: Both the House and Senate adjourned this afternoon without taking action on the FAA bill, ensuring a midnight shutdown. Senate Republicans blocked a move for a temporary extension of the agency’s funding.
At midnight tonight, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is slated to run out of money and be forced to suspend vital operations because House Republicans want to deny aviation and rail workers a simple majority vote—the same process that applies to electing lawmakers—on whether to join a union.
The 71 National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) members who staff Memphis International Airport’s tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) have been honored for their outstanding work at the uniquely busy, 24/7 facility that along with normal commercial traffic, serves as the hub for the worldwide cargo operation of FedEx.