Reagan Fired Air Traffic Controllers for Engaging in a Labor Strike in The US But Simultaneously Applauded a Labor Strike in Poland3
September 27, 2014 by Alfred
In the September 24, 2014 obituary section of The Washington Post, Robert
E. Poli, the president of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) is memorialized
as a principled, courageous leader who legitimately led the strike of the
controllers who were demanding shorter hours, better equipment, improved
working conditions, and higher pay. This was a necessity which was paramount to insure the safety of the nation’s airplane travelers.
Reagan took a hardline approach to this demand, and as stated in said obituary, he did so to “show the PATCO strikers six months into his presidency… an image of him at home and abroad as a strong leader who would not be pushed around “, and therefore he gave the air traffic controllers union a 48 hours ultimatum and when that was up he simplistically and impulsively fired all 12,000 air traffic controllers.
What should have been mentioned in said obituary, for proper background and contextualization in ways which honor PATCO president, is something which the mainstream media also has not pointed out contextualizingly, and which added insult to injury to the air traffic controllers and to Robert E. Poli , namely the fact that at the same time as Reagan fired said air traffic controllers, Reagan was a staunch advocate for the collective bargaining rights for one of the world’s most famous and most politicized and influential trade unions, namely Poland’s “Solidarity” union which was also striking.
In both cases, the striking workers were government employees.
Presumably Reagan’s air bombardment of the tiny island nation of Grenada which is about the size of the city of Washington, DC and the follow up invasion which resulted in fatalities, was also an act undertaken to show ” an image of him at home and abroad as a strong leader who would not be pushed around “.
Reagan subsequently characterized this bizarre assault on Grenada as ” a day when we stood tall “. The reason given by the White Houser for this international law violation was that Cuban engineers were assisting in modernizing Grenada’s airport and lengthening its landing strip, something which was deemed falsely as a”threat” to the United States. The invasion was preceded by a U.S. aerial bombardment which resulted in the killing of several students at a medical school in Grenada.
Of course, this outrageous and reckless behavior coupled to the false allegation that the airport modernization and landing strip lengthening was a so-called “threat” to the U.S. was also consistent with Ronald Reagan’s statement to the effect that “if we do not fight the Sandinistas in Nicaragua we will have to fight them in Texas“, when referring to the U.S. direct involvement in the Nicaragua’s people struggling quest for freedom and democracy.
The Sandinistas were a popular coalition movement which had succeeded in liberating Nicaragua from decades of the U.S. supported brutal, decadent, right- wing military dictatorship repression by General Anastacio Somoza who was trained at West Point, and in the infamous School of the Americas which also was documentably known to be engaged in the instruction of torture techniques. The school was located in the U.S. canal zone of Panama .
It is noteworthy that according to a ruling of the International Criminal Court of Justice in the 1986 Nicaragua case, the United States was found guilty of violating international law by supporting the heavily armed Contra terrorists who were the former military goons of that dictatorship.
The hypocritical double standards of Ronald Reagan’s postures were brazenly egregious.