Flashback: Dealing With Public Union Strife the Reagan Way

Politicians at the executive level having it out with public sector labor unions is nothing new. But what’s missing from the debate today is someone effectively communicating the vast difference between labor/management relations in the private sector vs. the government arena, and why collective bargaining in the latter shouldn’t be allowed. That’s what Ronald Reagan did in 1981, and a reminder is in order.

Reaganite Republican:

In August 1981, President Ronald Reagan faced down an audacious countrywide air traffic controllers strike that threatened to paralyze the nation’s transportation system.

But the walkout violated a regulation prohibiting government unions from striking, so declaring the situation a federal emergency -per 1947 Taft Hartley Act- the President held a press conference in the White House Rose Garden to issue an ultimatum…

Reagan warned that if the air traffic controllers “do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated.”

A bluff? Not at all — as over 11,000 striking controllers soon found out:

Have you noticed that the ridiculous “Reagan/Obama” comparisons stopped dead in their tracks when the Wisconsin mess started? They should have stopped dead in their tracks before the comparisons even started, but even the most intellectually dishonest MSM Obamabot can find no common ground between Obama and Reagan when it comes to dealing with public sector unions.

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. MichelleMalkin.com alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: WriteDoug@Live.com.