NORTHRUP, HERBERT R.: Papers (PATCO Strike), 1972-1991 – REAGAN LIBRARY COLLECTIONS

 

This collection consists of personal papers donated to the Reagan Presidential Library.  It has been reviewed by the Reagan Library staff and it is available for research.  You may access this collection in our research room.

 

NORTHRUP, HERBERT R.: Papers (PATCO Strike), 1972-1991

 

Biographical Note

 

Herbert R. Northrup attained an A.B. from Duke University in 1939; an A.M. in 1941 and Ph D. in 1942 from Harvard University.  Twenty years later, Northrup served as chairman director of the Department of Industry (now called Department of Management) at the Wharton School, Pennsylvania, from January 1964 until his retirement in July 1988.  During Northrup’s tenure, the struggling group began to live up to its mandate as a resource for labor relations and personnel material.  Under Northrup’s leadership, the school became the largest academic publisher of labor-management relationships and studies.  Northrup himself published several research papers and books, ranging from a wide selection of topics including: “The Negro in the Air Transport industry” (1971); “Blacks and other Minority Participation in the All-volunteer Navy and Marine Corps” (1977); “Impact of OSHA on the Aero Space Industry” (1977); “Objective Selection of Supervisors” (1978); “The 12-Hour shift Revisited” (1988); “The Federal Government as Employer: The federal Labor Relations Authority and the PATCO Challenge” (1988); and “The ‘Helper’ Controversy in the Construction Industry” (1993).

 

As a professor emeritus at the Wharton School’s Department of Industry, Northrup still publishes.  He resides in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

 

The material donated to the Reagan Library pertains to the 1981 PATCO Strike.

 

PATCO STRIKE SUMMARY

 

On August 3, 1981, members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization – the PATCO Union – began a historic strike.  These federal employees cited their perceived poor pay and unsatisfactory compensation as their grievances.  Specifically, these controllers felt that the Federal government should increase their benefits due to the stressful nature of their jobs and reprimand unsympathetic supervisors.

 

President Ronald Reagan’s response was swift: he fired all eleven thousand PATCO participants, but allowed a forty-eight hour grace period for the strikers to return to their positions without retribution.  While some of the strikers heeded the president’s warning and went back to work, many did not and found themselves out of work.  In his autobiography, An American Life, President Reagan explained that while he was sympathetic with the strikers – as he himself led the Screen Actors Guild for two terms in the 1950s – Reagan rejected the strikers’ demand for a “huge salary increase” that would cost the Federal government an additional $700 million per year.

 

In addition, Reagan argued that the strike itself was illegal, and if the PATCO union won, it would set a precedent that would open the Federal government to all sorts of demands from federal employees.  Reagan quoted Franklin Roosevelt, who stated that workers who performed an essential government service could not act out against their employers, namely the people.  In Reagan’s eyes, he had to “maintain the safety of the airways” from these workers who had abandoned their pledge not to strike against the government. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the President’s and John Lewis’ (Secretary of the Department of Transportation) decision to fire all remaining strikers. 

 

The PATCO strike had several long-lasting ramifications.  Still relatively new to the Presidency, Reagan’s move was popular with the people; Reagan demonstrated that he was taking his role seriously and was, in his words, “not playing games.”  The President’s handling of the PATCO strike further symbolized the decline of organized labor in the public’s perception.  After the strike ended, all attempts to rebuild a PATCO-like union failed.  Ironically, the Federal Aviation Administration’s subsequent investigation into the controversial conflict determined that many of the air traffic controllers had genuine grievances, leading the FAA to take steps to increase workers’ benefits and lessen stress.

 

Scope and Content

 

This collection is arranged into five series.

 

SERIES I: STRIKE DOCUMENTS (2 l.f.; Box 1-4)

 

This series consists of primary documents pertaining to the strike.  Such sources include audio tapes, news clippings as the strike unfolded, and various PATCO papers and communiqués (newsletters, contracts) relevant to the strike.  This series also contains PATCO’s failed appeal to the United States Supreme Court to uphold the strike.

 

SERIES II: POST-PATCO STRIKE (0.8 l.f.; Box 4-7)

 

This series consists of files documenting the aftermath of the PATCO strike.  This series includes Congressional investigations, various air traffic controllers groups that attempted to succeed PATCO, and the post-strike environment for air traffic controllers.  This series also contains an appeal to Federal Labor Authority to reinstate PATCO

 

SERIES III: LEGALITIES AND INTERNATIONAL RAMIFICATIONS (1.3 l.f.;

Box 7-11)

 

This series consists of legal papers and cases where fired air traffic controllers attempted to force the federal government to rehire them.  The material also includes various international responses to the PATCO strike and news clippings describing how the strike affected international air travel.

 

SERIES IV: PATCO STRIKE AS HISTORY (0.1 l.f.; Box 11-12)

 

This series consists of articles and scholarly perspectives concerning the PATCO strike approximately ten years after the event.  This series also includes material focusing on the strike’s ten-year anniversary.

 

SERIES V: INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH UNIT STUIDES AND DOCUMENTS

(2 l.f.; Box 12-16)

 

This series consists of independent and Congressional studies concerning air traffic controllers.  The material includes topics concerning international working conditions, labor/management relationships, and air traffic controller staffing.  The documents also include several court depositions of PATCO leaders for their role in the strike.

 

CONTAINER LIST

 

SERIES I:  PATCO STRIKE

          Box 1

Audio Tapes

          Background and Chronology I: History and Background

          Background and Chronology I: Pre-Strike Clippings

          Background and Chronology I: Public Service Research Course

          Background and Chronology I: Chronology (1)-(5)

          Background and Chronology I: Labor in Conflict: A History of the

Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization

          Chronology II: PATCO – FAA Communications I

          Chronology II: PATCO – FAA Communications II

          Chronology II: Clippings on Strikes (1)-(3)

         

          Box 2

          PATCO Material: PATCO Material (1)(2)

          PATCO Material: Cluster Meetings, AFGE Minutes, re PATCO

Treachery, Bill of Clay

          PATCO Material: United States Union Reactions

          PATCO Materials: PATCO – violence copies

          PATCO Finances (1)-(4)

          PATCO Contracts: April, 1973

          PATCO Contracts: November, 1976

          PATCO Contracts: December, 1977

          PATCO Contracts: March, 1978

 

          Box 3

          PATCO Contracts: [April, 1979]

          PATCO Contracts: [March, 1978 (Revised October, 1979)]

          PATCO Newsletter (1) [1]

          PATCO Newsletter (1) [June 2, 1971 – October 18, 1972] [2]

          PATCO Newsletter (1) [November 27, 1972 – December 24, 1973] [3]

          PATCO Newsletter (1) [January 28, 1974 – July 5, 1974] [4]

          PATCO Newsletter (1) [August 10, 1974 – December 25, 1974] [5]

          PATCO Newsletter (1) [February 23, 1975 – May, 1975] [6]

          PATCO Newsletter (1) [June 14, 1975 – November 15, 1975] [7]

          PATCO Newsletter (2) [March 11, 1976 – May 5, 1976] [1]

          PATCO Newsletter (2) [June 6, 1976 – November 25, 1976] [2]

          PATCO Newsletter (2) [December 15, 1976 – April 15, 1977] [3]

          PATCO Newsletter (2) [May 17, 1977 – January 30, 1978] [4]

          PATCO Newsletter (2) [March 10, 1978 – December, 1978] [5]

          PATCO Newsletter (2) [April 23, 1979 – January, 1980] [6]

          PATCO Newsletter (2) [March 25, 1980 – January 1981] [7]

 

          Box 4

          Litigation: Decertification (PATCO) (1)(2)

          Litigation: EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity]

          Litigation: Internal PATCO Litigation, Harassment, NLRB [National Labor

                   Relations Board]

          Litigation: Pre- August 1981, Issues Were Early FLRA [Federal Labor

Relations Authority]

          Litigation and Administrative Actions – Federal Labor Relations Authority,

                   Bankrupt (1)-(3)

          Legal Documents II: Air Traffic Associations/PATCO IV 652811009

Extra Copies United States Supreme Court – Legal Papers #78-1394 (1)-(3)

 

SERIES II: POST-PATCO STRIKE

Box 4, Continued

          Miscellaneous: Congressional (1)-(4)

 

Box 5

Miscellaneous: Econ [Economic] Impact (1)(2)

          Miscellaneous: Government Pay, Strikes

          Miscellaneous: Unemployment Comp [Compensation]

          Air Traffic Unions: [Exclusion of PATCO strikers]

          Air Traffic Unions: New ATC [Air Traffic Controllers] Unions (Except

                    USATCO) [United States Air Traffic Controllers Organization] (1)-(4)

          Air Traffic Unions: [General Accounting Office Inquiry and Miscellaneous Items]

USATCO (Failed Attempt to Rebuild PATCO): USATCO [United States Air

          Traffic Controller Organization] Incorporation

          USATCO (Failed Attempt to Rebuild PATCO): USATCO Press Clippings

USATCO (Failed Attempt to Rebuild PATCO): Publications (1)-(4)

 

Box 6 

Air Traffic Controllers Hiring and Training: [Commercial Controllers] (1)(2)

          Air Traffic Controllers Hiring and Training ATC [Air Traffic Controllers]

Private Controllers

Air Traffic Controllers Labor Relations: Foreign Controllers

Air Traffic Controllers Labor Relations: Air Traffic Controllers Labor Relations

          (1)(2)

          Air Traffic Controllers Safety [12/21/1989-05/23/1986] (1)

          Air Traffic Controllers Safety [05/22/1986-04/07/1982] (2)

          Air Traffic Controllers Safety [04/01/1982-02/06/1982] (3)

          Air Traffic Controllers Safety [01/29/1982-01/21/1982] (4)

          Air Traffic Controllers Safety [12/04/1981-08/09/1981] (5)

Air Traffic Controllers Union: [Dateline Newsletters, PASS: Professional

          Airways Safety Specialists] (1)-(3)

Air Traffic Controllers Union: PASS [Professional Airways Safety Specialists]

          Miscellaneous

 

          Box 7

          Air Traffic Controllers Union: PASS [Professional Airways Systems Specialists]

                   Constitution [August, 1983] (1)

Air Traffic Controllers Unions: PASS [Professional Airways Systems Specialists]

          Constitution [August, 1982] (2)

Air Traffic Controllers Stress/Disability: Air Traffic Controllers Stress/Disability

          02/10/1991- November 1982] [1]

Air Traffic Controllers Stress/Disability: Air Traffic Controllers Stress/Disability

          [07/23/1982- June 1981] [2]

Air Traffic Controllers Technology: [01/04/1988-08/07/1981]

Federal Aviation Administration: Correspondence – FAA [Federal Aviation

          Administration] and Data on Strike- Roper Poll [08/02/1983-10/21/1981]

Rejected 1981 Agreement: [Article 1 to 28 – 06/06/1981] (1)

Rejected 1981 Agreement: [Article 29 – 59 – 06/22/1981] (2)

Rejected 1981 Agreement: [Article 1-24 – PATCO#1] (1)

Rejected 1981 Agreement: [Article 25-59 – PATCO#1] (2)

Rejected 1981 Agreement: [Article 60-99 – PATCO#1] (3)

[General Accounting Office: FAA Staffing September, 1988]

[Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization v. Air Transport Association of

          America – Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the

          Second Circuit]

[Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Labor Relations Authority

          06/11/1982] (1)-(4)

[Brief for Appellant]: [Air Transport Association of America v. Professional Air

          Traffic Controllers Organization, Inc.]

[Appellant’s Reply Brief]: [Air Transport Association of America v. Professional

          Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Inc.]

 

SERIES III: LEGALITIES AND LEGAL RAMIFICATIONS

          Box 7, Continued

Legal Documents I: [Air Transport Association of America et. al. v. Professional

          Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Inc. et. al.] (1)(2)

 

Box 8

Legal Documents I: [Appeal: Air Transport Association of America, et. al. v. Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, INC.]

Legal Documents I: [Amicus Curia Brief of Appeal]

FAA Strike Plan: [National Air Traffic Control Contingency Plan] (1)-(4)

FAA Strike Plan: National Air Traffic Control Contingency Plan Revision

          04/15/1981] (1)(2)

FAA Strike Plan: [Other Contingency Plans]

Controller Reinstatement (1)-(8)

 

Box 9

Controllers Reinstatement (9)-(11)

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: IFATCA [International

          Federation Air Traffic Controllers Association] Connections

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: IFATCA [International

          Federation Air Traffic Controllers Association] Clippings

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: [PATCO Strike – Japan, New

          Zealand, Denmark, Australia]

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – Caribbean

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – European

          Controllers

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – France

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – ILO

          [International Labor Organization]

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – ITF

          [International Transport Workers’ Federation]

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – Netherlands

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – Portugal

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – UK

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike – WFTU

          [World Federation of Trade Unions]

IFATCA – PATCO Strike – International Reaction: PATCO Strike –

          [Miscellaneous]

IFATCA – PATCO Strike: PATCO (1)-(3)

IFATCA – PATCO Strike: IFATCA –PATCO Newspaper Clippings (1)-(3)

IFATCA – PATCO Strike Canadian Reaction (1)-(5)

IFATCA – PATCO Strike Canadian Reaction: [Telegrams, CATA [Canadian Air

          Traffic Association] – PATCO]

 

Box 10

Air Traffic Controllers Regional

Europilote (1)(2)

          Transport Canada: Correspondence

Transport Canada: Interviews – Ottawa

Transport Canada: ATC – Canada (1)-(3)

Transport Canada: ATC – Europe

Transport Canada: Air Traffic Controllers International Pay Survey (1)(2)

FEIA – Flight Engineers International Association

International Air Transport Association

IFALDA – International Federation of Air Line Dispatchers Association

IFALDA – Correspondence (1)(2)

IFALDA: Australian Airline Pilots

IFALDA – Articles (1)-(5)

IFALDA – Korean Plane Shot Down by Soviets (1)-(3)

 

Box 11

IFALDA – Korean Plane Shot Down by Soviets (4)

          IFALDA Latest Draft (1)(2)

          IFALDA Latest Draft: Proposal

          IFALDA Latest Draft: Supplementary Materials

          IFALDA – Atlas ET KSSU

          IFATCA: International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers

          IFATCA: Day of the Controller

          IFATCA: Excerpt from the Controller (1)-(3)

          IFATCA: International matters Bilingual Strike

          IFATSEA: Correspondence

          IFATSEA (1)(2)

 

Series IV: THE PATCO STRIKE AS HISTORY

          Box 11, Continued

[Rehiring of Fired PATCO Employees]: [August 13, 1993]

[Labor Relations and Public Policy Series No. 32]

[The “Helper” Controversy in Construction Industry]

 

          Box 12

          [“Salting” the Contractors’ Labor Force: Construction Unions Organization with

                   NLRB Assistance”]

          [“The Labor Policies of the Reagan Administration”]

[“Union Corporate Campaigns and Inside Games as a Strike Form”]

[“The PATCO Strike: Myths and Realities” by Michael H. LeRoy”]

 

SERIES V: INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH UNIT STUDIES AND DOCUMENTS

          Box 12, Continued

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book I: Comparison Chart

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book I: Australia (1)-(3)

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book I: Austria (1)(2)

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book I: Belgium

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book I: Canada

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book I: Denmark

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book I: France (1)-(5)

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: West Germany

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: Great Britain

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: Japan

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: Netherlands

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: New Zealand (1)-(5)

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: Sweden

 

Box 13

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: Switzerland (1)(2)

Survey of Working Conditions of Air Traffic Controllers Book II: International Labor Organization Report

Management and Labor Relations in the Federal Aviation Administration Volume I (1)-(4)

Management and Labor Relationships in the Federal Aviation Administration Volume II (1)-(3)

Air Transport Association of America v. Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization: Deposition of Robert E. Poli (1)-(6)

Air Transport Association of America v. Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization: Deposition of Robert E. Meyer (1)-(3)

 

Box 14

Air Transport Association of America v. Professional Air Traffic Controllers

          Organization: Deposition of Robert E. Meyer (4)(5)

Air Transport Association of America v. Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization: Deposition of David A. Trick (1)-(5)

Air Transport Association of America v. Professional Air Traffic Controllers

          Organization: Deposition of Robert E. Meyer [Washington DC] (1)-(3)

Edward V. Curran: Unpublished PATCO Strike Manuscript (1)-(5)

Paden, D. Air Traffic Control Part 1.  (Ann Arbor: University of Microfilms International, 1962).

 

Box 15

Paden, D.  Air Traffic Control Part 2.  (Ann Arbor: University of Microfilms

          International, 1962)

Glenn C. Kinney, Glennis L. Bell, Martin A. Ditmore: The Human Element in Air Traffic Control: Factors in System Recovery and Revitalization [1983]

Glenn C. Kinney, Glennis L. Bell, Martin A. Ditmore: The Human Element in Air Traffic Control: Factors in System Recovery and Revitalization – Appendixes [1983]

Aviation Safety: Air Traffic control [PATCO Walkout] (1)(2)

General Accounting Office: FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] Staffing: The Air Traffic Control Work force Opposes Rehiring Fired Controllers

General Accounting Office: FAA Staffing: Air Traffic Controllers’ Work Load and Operational Performance

General Accounting Office: Aviation Safety: Serious Problems Concerning the Air Traffic Control Work Force

Federal Aviation Administration: Biological Rhythms and Rotating Shift Work

Federal Aviation Administration: Air Traffic Service Recovery and Revitalization Plan

 

Box 16

Selection of Air Traffic Controllers, August 1984

Air Traffic Controller Health Change Study, December 1978

Federal Aviation Administration: Air Traffic Controller Health Change Study

Federal Aviation Administration: Selection of Applicants for the Air Traffic Controller Occupation, July 1981

Department of Transportation: Air Traffic Controller Career Committee Report, January 1970