PATCO Convention August 3, 2011 - ATC - Aviation Information

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PATCO Convention August 3, 2011

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Teamsters Airline Division

Week in Review August 6, 2011

Director Addresses PATCO on 30th Anniversary of Strike

http:// the 30th anniversary of the assault on organized labor when then over 13,000 air traffic controllers were fired for striking over better working conditions and wages, Airline Division Director David Bourne addressed the PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) as the keynote speaker at their convention this week in Florida.

Noting the continued assault on American working men and women that gained momentum by the firings, and the current assaults led by some members of Congress and states like Wisconsin and others, he brought home the point that the concerted attacks continue unabated. In his remarks to the controllers he said,

“Thirty years ago 13,000 of your fellow controllers; including some among you today, stood up for a principal. You stood up for better work rules, pay and safety. Thirty years ago, you stood up for each and every American working man and woman.

In the past thirty years, we have seen the continuing erosion of pay, benefits and working conditions. We've seen the continued use of the bankruptcy code to strip away any gains that employees have fought to get back in the collective bargaining process. We now live in a time when the average corporate CEO makes four hundred times what their employee makes.

And they want more. They want you to work more. They want you to give up your health care. They want you to do it for even less.”

Addressing the anti-labor climate in Washington he continued, “The assault on you is now in the open. How many of you are in the upper 1% income bracket in this country? I'm not. And each of us is expected to fund their excesses. The tide is changing. Americans across the land are fed up. They are rising up and demanding a different way. They are demanding their voices be heard. And they are demanding something we haven't heard in thirty years. They are demanding that the rights of American workers…union workers…be protected. They are now seeing what you have lived. And fought for. The VALUE and importance of unity…and of union representation.

The labor movement has taken a beating for decades. And to be fair, we all shoulder some of the responsibility. It was easier to not be as vocal when the voices from the other side were louder. . Over and over they have chanted the mantra of their anti labor, big business paymasters…labor is bad…employees should be lucky we pay them…greed is good.”

“No more,” he said.

In closing, he urged the controllers to remain united and continue the fight for their rights. He reminded them that as a pilot, he always knew that air traffic controllers were always there and always looked out for the safety of him and his flight crew. “You always had our back,” he said “I want you to know that the Teamsters will always have yours.”
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