PATCO Lives to Fight Again

By Robert Mark on September 10th, 2007

Most people counted PATCO out years ago. PATCO was the union that represented air traffic controllers during the infamous 1981 strike that cost 12,000 PATCO members their jobs.

But PATCO never really disappeared. It just shrank to become a tiny independent labor organization serving smaller ATC facilities.

On Friday, the Union Review reported that controllers at the Gary Indiana tower chose PATCO hands down over NATCA. NATCA reportedly, in fact, received no votes at all.

The question is how PATCO, a union that most thought was pretty well finished, except for a few wins here and there around the country, managed to pull this off, especially right down the road from the world’s busiest airport, and against an entrenched union like NATCA and some of its competitors.

PATCO’s website says more elections like the one at Gary are coming up soon. “Pursuant to the recent NLRB ruling in Detroit, secret elections are scheduled during the week of September 10, 2007 for the following towers, Trenton, NJ, Appleton and Waukesha, WI.”

The site also says the “NLRB has ordered a decertification election be held at towers in Jackson, MI, Charlottesville, VA, Waukegan, IL and Ohio State, OH. On August 24, 2007, the incumbent union [FPD/AHPE, NUHHCE, AFSCME, affiliated with AFL-CIO] filed a Request for Review appeal in all of the above cases to dismiss a freedom of choice election from taking place.

Preeminent on the PATCO website is the slogan … “You deserve better …”

My guess is that Ron Taylor, PATCO’s president, is going to be doing some serious talking over the next few weeks explaining what made the Gary organizing effort different from others where PATCO lost out?

If I were an organizer at any of the competing unions, I’d be listening closely for that answer.

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5 Responses to “PATCO Lives to Fight Again”

  1. John Reid Says:

    It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why PATCO would be selected over others. The only people PATCO represents are controllers. The welfare of controllers is job one at PATCO. Period.

  2. Robert Mark Says:

    I must admit I was pretty surprised to learn that the FPD I mentioned above was related to doctors and Dentists.

    That HAS to be an image issue for controllers.

    Should be an interesting next few weeks for PATCO and NATCA.

  3. Ron Taylor Says:

    PATCO wins another NLRB election October 9, 2007, at Oxford, CT by 100%.

  4. national association professional organizer Says:

    […] the organizing efforts of rival controller union, the national Air Traffic Controllers Association association of professional […]

  5. Bret Michaels Says:

    I wasn’t aware of the information on PATCO. This makes for a relativley interesting discussion at the office.

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