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  •  Promises were made, we believed them. (2+ / 0-)
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    Catte Nappe, worldlotus

    Believe me, I'm a life-long Democrat. I was not happy about my union supporting Ronnie. And it cost us dearly because we were foolish enough to think that we would be repaid for our support. It was a political decision, pure and simple.

    Our union decided to endorse Reagan because Jimmy Carter (a thoroughly decent man, I think) could not or would not force the FAA to negotiate a new contract with us. The FAA drew a line in the sand and simply said they didn't want to negotiate. This was prior to the summer of 1980. Contract "negotiations" were going on for months before that with absolutely nothing to show for it.

    Reagan's people did not tell us that we could strike if we supported them. They told us that if Ronnie won they would listen to our safety concerns and negotiate a new contract with us. That seemed a reasonable quid pro quo. But after the election, there were still no meaningful negotiations by the FAA.

    If you have an administration that won't negotiate with you and then a challenger says "Oh my god, you people have a very important job and those incumbent bastards are ignoring you. We'll  throw those bums out at the FAA when we get elected and make sure that your concerns are listened to...", who would you listen to? Why not take a chance that the new guy will actually listen to you?

    I really don't think that Reagan's people were thinking that far ahead (let them strike, then fire them) when they talked with our leaders and gave their assurances. They just desperately wanted to get as much of the "union vote" as they could. After the election, Ronnie's advisors would have advised firing any federal workers who decided to go on strike. We had then been working without a contract for over a year. The FAA declared our contract null and void. What choice did we have? Submit?

    So it wasn't exactly folly or naivete. It's nice to pigeonhole stuff, but real life can't always be described in a word or two. We were just trying to get a contract. We tried every avenue available to us and when they didn't work, we went on strike.

    My personal thought was "I'm not doing this job anymore under these conditions." That is what a strike is, a refusal to perform work under conditions you don't agree to.

    It seemed to me that the diary was pretty long. I opted to leave some of the story out. I could go on and on and on about the ex-military facets of working in the FAA. I could go on and on and on about the struggle that women faced in the FAA. There were a lot of problems in that agency. And there still are many problems as far as I can see from the outside.

    Thanks for clarifying that point.

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