A few months ago, Institute for Liberty joined a coalition of conservative groups expressing concerns with a proposal to restructure the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system – a so-called “privatization” that actually creates a government sponsored enterprise resembling Amtrak or Fannie Mae. Early this year, we were joined by Americans for Tax Reform. All of us raised, among other concerns, the real danger that the proposal would weaken restrictions on the ATC union, including prohibitions on strikes and a mandatory retirement age nine years earlier than that of pilots.
We’ve been told repeatedly that this isn’t a union friendly proposal, or that the labor problems in the proposal will be “fixed”. But lo and behold, today Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) – the union proponents claim won’t gain from the proposal – is the guest speaker at a webinar in support of the ATC proposal.
Did proponents of the ATC proposal forget to tell the union that they had nothing to gain? Or is the union just supporting the proposal out of pure altruism with no regard for its own self-interest? Or could it just possibly be that the ATC proposal is laden with goodies for organized labor, and that’s why NATCA is supporting it publicly?
Perhaps today’s webinar will shed more light on why organized labor is supporting a major restructuring of ATC that supposedly includes no benefit to organized labor.