Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Organization

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Note to the Researcher

Description of Series

Series I. Office Files, 1968-1982

Series II. Newsletters, Journals, and Publications, 1968-1988

Series III. Newspaper, Journal, and Magazine Clippings, 1972-1988

Series IV. Artifacts

University of Texas Arlington

Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization Records, Local 601, Anchorage, Alaska:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Local 601, Anchorage, Alaska
Title: Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization Records, Local 601, Anchorage, Alaska
Inclusive Dates: 1968-1988
Abstract: Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO), Local 601, Anchorage, Alaska, was chartered in 1975. By early 1976 it had eighty members spread thinly across the state. It had two goals: to improve the working conditions for air traffic controllers and to generate support at the local level for the national union. As members of the greater national union, they adhered to the philosophy and actions taken by the parent organization, including the strike that was called after negotiations with the FAA broke down in 1981. This strike violated federal regulations and led to the eventual termination of more than 11,000 air traffic controllers. The collection includes correspondence, reports of congressional testimony, newspaper and magazine clippings, newsletters, journals, publications, and artifacts. The bulk of the collection consists of office files and PATCO newsletters and journals, 1968-1988. Photographs of the negotiating teams for PATCO and the FAA are also included.
Identification: AR389
Extent: 3.3 linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library

Historical Note

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) was founded in 1969. Since the members of this union were federal employees, the union and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were constantly at the bargaining table trying to create a satisfactory union contract. Among the issues discussed were working conditions, hours required, pay ceilings, and workers' rights. One of the central issues on which neither party could compromise was the workers' right to strike.

PATCO Local 601, Anchorage, Alaska, was chartered in 1975. By early 1976 it had eighty members spread thinly across the entire state. It had two goals: the first was to improve the working conditions for the air traffic controllers, and the second was to generate support at the local level for the national union. The officials of the local consistently supported the goals of PATCO. They urged the local members to join the national organization, always pointing out the advantages of group solidarity. Even though Local 601 always supported PATCO, it also expressed the feeling of being forgotten by national headquarters.

This feeling played a part in their desire to have a separate local union. The main reason was that Alaska had unique problems best solved at the local level. At every meeting and in every newsletter the same issues were discussed without resolution, and that was working without needed equipment, working overtime without pay, working too many hours a week for safety, and the gap between the actual working conditions and the FAA guidelines.

The battle with the FAA in Alaska had already begun by the time that the Local 601 had formed. An FAA Operational Readiness Inspection in February 1976 was based on the assumption that some day the air traffic controllers in Alaska might strike, anticipating the national strike by five years.

In August 1981, when the members of PATCO walked off the job or failed to report to work, the Reagan administration issued more than 11,000 letters of termination, essentially firing the rank and file of the union. Additionally, the courts issued orders impounding the union's funds, which had been set up to cover periods of strike. With this termination, both the national and the local unions were disbanded. Between 1982 and 1986, individuals had to reapply for employment as federal employees and many were never rehired.

Sources:


  • Alaska PATCO Newsletters, December 1973-June 1981.
  • Shostak, Arthur B. Ph.D., and Skocik, David, M.A. The Air Controllers' Controversy. New York: Human Sciences Press, Inc., 1986.

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Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the office files, newsletters, and journals of Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Local 601, in Anchorage, Alaska. These provide an in-depth view of the events leading up to and immediately after the nation-wide strike in 1981. This collection covers the events leading up to the termination of the rank and file of the union. For the actual affect this had on the Anchorage Local 601, the researcher will have to examine the local newspapers from the second series and the clippings from the newspapers.

Series I consists of the congressional testimony of national and regional union representatives before various committees and subcommittees. This series also includes examples of proposed contracts between the union and the FAA. The instructions from the national headquarters to the negotiating teams are in this series. There are the photographs of the negotiating teams members for PATCO and FAA. Series II holds regional and national newsletters and journals which were distributed from locals, regional, and national headquarters. In this series the local events which affected the Anchorage Local 601 can be studied. Series III is a collection of clippings from U.S. daily newspapers, magazines, and journals. The events which covered the life and death of PATCO and its heirs, USATCO and NATCO, are here. Series IV contains the artifacts which were part of the air traffic controller's belongings during the time before, during, and after the 1981 strike.

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Organization

Series I. Office Files, 1968-1982. 1.2 linear ft. (2.8 document boxes, 45 folders).
Series II. Newsletters, Journals, and Publications, 1968-1988. 1.1 linear ft. (2.6 document boxes, 43 folders).
Series III. Newspaper, Journal, and Magazine Clippings, 1972-1988. 0.6 linear ft. (1.6 document boxes, 24 folders).
Series IV. Artifacts. 0.40 linear ft. (1.0 document box, containing numerous artifacts).

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Restrictions

Access

Open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.

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Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Organizations
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (Washington, D.C.). Local 601 (Anchorage, Alaska)--Records and correspondence.
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (Washington, D.C.)--Periodicals.
Subjects
Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike, U.S., 1981.
Alternate Titles
Texas Labor Archives

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Related Material

AR291: PATCO Records for the Southwest Region (1968-1986)

AR294: PATCO Records for the DFW Tower Group (1971-1981)

AR302: PATCO Records (1968-1985)

AR397: PATCO Records for the Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (1964-1982)

Unprocessed mss. 92-8: PATCO Records of Bedford, Texas, Office (1981-1982)

Unprocessed mss. 88-16: Audio Tapes (August 14, 1981)

Unprocessed mss. 88-32: Records (1980-1982)

Unprocessed mss. 92-13: Records (1968-1979)

Unprocessed mss. 92-44: Records (1979-1992)

Unprocessed mss. 88-23: Records (1976-1981)

Unprocessed mss. 88-19: Records (1975-1982)

Unprocessed mss. 88-24: PATCO Records for the Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (1964-1982)

Unprocessed mss. 92-32: Collection (1981-1997)

Unprocessed mss. 88-29: PATCO Records (1968-1987)

Unprocessed mss. 95-18: PATCO Records (1968-1994)

Unprocessed mss. 84-7: PATCO Records (1975-1984)

Unprocessed mss. 88-27: PATCO Records (1977-1981)

Unprocessed mss. 92-56: PATCO Records (1969-1981)

Unprocessed mss. 87-6 87-21: PATCO Records for the Southwest Region (1955-1986)

Unprocessed mss. 92-15: PATCO Records (1978-1982)

Unprocessed mss. 92-14: PATCO Records (1981-1985)

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Separated Material

Duplicates of all documents, clippings, and photocopied material were discarded. All newspaper, magazine, and journal clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper and the originals were discarded.

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Administrative Information

Citation

Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization Records, Local 601, Anchorage, Alaska:, AR389, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.

Acquisition

Gift, 1989.

Accessioned as number 89-10.

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 Note to the Researcher 

The researcher can extract both local color and national interest from the numerous letters retained in the office files, and from the regional newsletters. Additionally, both sides can be viewed through the many interviews recorded on the videotapes in the artifacts series. Special Collections has other PATCO Locals' records and papers which may be available for further research.

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Container List

 

Series I. Office Files, 1968-1982
Extent 1.2 linear ft. (2.8 document boxes, 45 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by folder topic, with the materials in each folder arranged chronologically. Material includes congressional testimony; contract proposals; Federal Regulations for Negotiating Teams; Labor Relations Monitor; negotiating correspondence; Negotiating Teams' Manual; material, reference material, and photographs; PATCO endorsement of Governor Reagan; updates; special reports; post-strike and pre-strike correspondence; press releases; public laws; results of local and national questionnaires; strike cartoons; strike material; and support organizations.
Box Folder
1 1 Congressional Testimony, May 31, 1979-November 26, 1979.
Speech of Congressman William L. Clay to PATCO Convention; statement of John F. Leyden; president of PATCO, before Senate Appropriations Committee; Statement of John F. Leyden before the Subcommittee on Civil Service of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service; Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) testimony before House Ways and Means Oversight Committee.
2 Congressional Testimony, December 10, 1979-June 30, 1980.
Letter from administrator Langhorne B. Bond to Chairman Robert B. Duncan, Subcommittee on Transportation, Committee on Appropriations; testimony of John F. Leyden before House Public Works and Transportation Committee; testimony of Robert E. Poli, president of PATCO, to Subcommittee on Transportation, Committee on Appropriations; speech by Congressman Bob Whittaker at the PATCO convention; "Omnibus" lobbying timetable and program; statement of Robert E. Poli before House Committee on Government Operations.
3 Congressional Testimony, August 16, 1980-August 21, 1980.
Testimony of Domenic V. Torchia, regional vice-president, before Subcommittee on Government Activities and Transportation; statement of Robert E. Poli before House Committee on Public Works and Transportation; statement of Robert E. Poli before Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
4 Congressional Testimony, September 30, 1980-June 12, 1981.
Subcommittee report of hearings in investigation, Committee on Post Office and Civil Service; statement of Michael J. Simons, Director of Safety at FAA conference; letter from Lloyd A. Johnson to "Pat"; testimony of Robert E. Poli before Subcommittee on Compensation and Employee Benefits; statement of Robert E. Poli before House Committee on Appropriations; testimony of Patrick Doyce, Legislative Director of PATCO, before House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.
5 Congressional Testimony, June 19, 1981.
PATCO testimony before Subcommittee on Investigation and Oversight.
6 Congressional Testimony, September 1, 1981-October 20, 1981.
News release on Air Traffic Control Hearings; expanded letter of Thomas J. Dorony; letter from Howard E. Johannssen to Congressman William D. Ford; copy of Congressional Record; statement of J. Lynn Helms before House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service; memorandum from Congressman William D. Ford to Committee on Post Office and Civil Service; opening statement of Chairman William D. Ford at hearings; Congressional Record on Air Traffic Controllers' strike; opening statement of Chairman Ford; testimony of John F, Leyden before Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.
7 Congressional Testimony, October 20, 1981.
Statement of Howard E. Johannssen before Post Office and Civil Service Committee; testimony of John F. Leyden; testimony of Rod Murray; testimony of Arthur Teatis.
8 Congressional Testimony, October 23, 1981-March/April 1984.
Statement of Senator Lowell Weicker on the strike; list of Congressman, their districts, and clippings; letter from Congressman James M. Jeffords; testimony of Domenic V. Torchia before Subcommittee of Government Activities and Transportation; opening statement of Chairman Elliott H. Levitas; memorandum from George Brandon to regional vice-presidents; report of ATC (Air Traffic Controllers) hearings; statement by Tip O'Neill, Speaker of the House.
9 Contract Proposals, Articles 01-19, approximately 1980.
Letter from E. V. Curran to Robert E. Poli about contract proposals; contains proposed changes to existing contract.
10 Contract Proposals, Articles 22-50, approximately 1980.
Contains proposed changes to existing contract.
11 Contract Proposals, Articles 51-72, approximately 1980.
Contains proposed changes to existing contract.
12 Contract Proposals, Articles 73-99, approximately 1980.
Contains proposed changes to existing contract.
13 Federal Regulations for Negotiating Team Reference, undated
Contains federal regulations as a guide to team.
14 Labor Relations Monitor, October 31, 1988-December 12, 1980.
Varrious topics, including grievances, unfair labor practices and new procedures for filing grievances, published by PATCO.
15 Negotiating Team Correspondence, March 31, 1976-December 9, 1980.
Letters and memoranda concerning the strike and negotiations, proposed settlement agreement between PATCO and FAA.
Box Folder
2 1 Negotiating Team Correspondence, December 19, 1980-November 27, 1981.
Letters and memoranda concerning supervisory evaluations program; results from Washington Work Group; legislative analyses; First Annual National SUPCOM position paper.
2 Negotiating Team Manual, undated
Provides direction on techniques of negotiation.
3 Negotiating Team Material, June 26, 1980-June 26, 1981.
Minutes of negotiating committee meetings; recommended changes to the 1981 contract proposal package.
4 Negotiating Team Photographs-FAA, undated
5 Negotiating Team Photographs-PATCO, undated
6 Negotiating Team Reference Material, undated
Guidelines and reference points; roster of team members.
7 Negotiations Update Correspondence, December 19, 1980-April 24, 1981.
Letters from Robert E. Poli on current state of negotiations.
8 PATCO Endorsement of Governor Reagan, October 20, 1980.
Contains letter from Governor Reagan seeking endorsement letter from Reagan-Bush committee stating PATCO position.
9 PATCO Presidential Updates, July 5, 1974; April 7, 1980-May 28, 1982.
History of union stance and negotiation updates.
10 PATCO Special Reports, November 25, 1980-May 1, 1981.
Information from national headquarters.
11 Post-strike Legal Correspondence, September 9, 1981-October 20, 1981.
Letters from Justice Department.
12 Post-strike Legal Correspondence, November 5, 1981-December 31, 1981.
Letters from Justice Department directing investigation of illegal action by PATCO.
13 Post-strike Legal Correspondence, March 1, 1982-June 18, 1984.
Legal updates from Jack B. Solerwitz; letters from Henry R. Van Cleve to Richard J. Leighton, Esq; decision of Comptroller General in the case of Dr. William Post, Jr.; in the case of Leroy J. Pletten; suit of Hugh McClure vs. Members of Executive Board of PATCO; memorandum from Richard J. Leighton; legal updates from Richard J. Leighton; ATC News from Richard J. Leighton; letter with enclosure, from Gary Eads, president of USATCO.
14 Post-strike Negotiations, October 28, 1981-February 19, 1982.
Executive board policy statement, Alaska PATCO; Department of Transportation Employee Representation Rights; press release to KHET, Honolulu, HI.
15 Post-strike Updates, August 8, 1981-September 28, 1981.
PATCO Newsletter, updates on strike; letter from F. Lee Bailey to Roone Arledge, president of Sports and News, ABC News; the Harvey Survey; "Meet the Press" synopsis; AFGE updates; PATCO updates; PATCO news release; letter from Congress.
16 Post-strike Updates, October 1, 1981-December 26, 1981.
National headquarters updates; congressional latter to President Reagan; updates from Domenic V. Torchia; letter from George Brandon to Bob Greene; memorandum from Domenic V. Torchia to Robert E. Poli; letter from Jack Ward to F. Lee Bailey; open letter to Domenic V. Torchia; speech of Robert Poli.
17 Post-strike Updates, January 5, 1982-April 26, 1982.
Letters to/from Chairman William D. Ford; results of national meeting of PATCO solidarity; membership message from Gary Eads; follow-up of Domenic Torchia to regional vice-president; letter from Gary Eads to Lane Kirkland; letters from PATCO members appealing Civil Service rejections.
18 Post-strike Updates, undated
Sectional analysis of the revised Air Traffic Controller bill; Union Busting at Any Cost?; wage analysis; letter of union solidarity.
19 Press Releases, January 15, 1975-July 2, 1982.
Local and national headquarters' press releases and notices.
20 Pre-strike Legal Correspondence, March 13, 1981-June 30, 1981.
Letter to Charles Campbell from Richard Lighten; letter to Dave Trick from Richard Lighten; letter to George Brandon from Richard Lighten; letter to William French Smith, Attorney General, from Richard Lighten; legal education series.
21 Proposed Contract Agreement Between PACT and FAA, nod. Contract divided into seventy-eight articles.
Box Folder
3 1 Proposed Legislation Before Congress, undated
Various proposals for bylaws and House bills before Congress affecting professional air traffic controllers.
2 Public Laws, December 29, 1970 and October 13, 1974.
Law 91-596, assuring safe work environment; Law 97-454, Civil Service Reform Act.
3 Questionnaires-Local and National, undated
Analysis of surveys of attitudes in regional surveys.
4 Sample Constitution of PATCO, undated
5 Spouses of Air Traffic Controllers for Action (SATCA) Membership manual, undated
Divided into twelve subsections ranging from Bylaws, Education, Public Relations, etc.
6 Strike Cartoon, undated
7 Strike Material, April 15, 1980-December 4, 1981.
Educational strike guidelines for committees, communications, and local/cluster concepts.
8 Strike Material, undated
Operating plans for various airports, Air Traffic Controller Spouses Organizations (ATCSO).
9 Support Organizations, undated
ATCSO constitution, structure, and a newsletter.

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Series II. Newsletters, Journals, and Publications, 1968-1988
Extent 1.1 linear ft. (2.6 document boxes, 43 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by publication title, and thereunder chronologically. Materials include newsletters, journals, and other publications.
Box Folder
3 10 Air Traffic Controller Health Change Study, Boston University School of Medicine, August 1978
(Placed at end of Box 7 for ease of arrangement).
11 Alaska PATCO Newsletters, December 1973-November 25, 1978
12 Alaska PATCO Newsletters, February 1979-June 1981
13 Convention PATCO, 1975-1981.
These contain the programs for the PATCO annual meetings.
14 FAA World, Department of Transportation, May 1979, May 1980, August 1980, December 1980
15 Midnight Sun Newsletters, Anchorage PATCO Local 601, August 1978-February/March 1981
16 Monitor Newsletters, The Aviation Safety Institute, Early September 1980-Mid-September 1981
17 Monitor Newsletters, The Aviation Safety Institute, Mid-October 1981-Mid-November 1982
18 Monitor Newsletters, The Aviation Safety Institute, Early December 1982-Mid-November 1983
Box Folder
4 1 Monitor Newsletters, The Aviation Safety Institute, Mid-December 1983-Mid-May 1985
2 Mountain Wave Newsletters, Denver Tower PATCO, April 20, 1980-March 2, 1981
3 Open Mike Newsletters, Philadelphia International Tower, February 1980-March 1981
4 Pacific Newsletters, Honolulu Center PATCO, October 2, 1973-February 1975
5 Pacific Newsletters, Honolulu Center PATCO, March 1975-November 1977
6 Pacific Newsletters, Honolulu Center PATCO, December 1977-April 1979
7 Pacific Newsletters, Honolulu Center PATCO, June 1979-May 1982
8 PATCO Facility Guide, Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Suite 706, 2100 M. Street, N. W., Washington, D.C., 20037, undated
(Placed at the end of Box 7 for ease of arrangement)
9 PATCO Journals, May/June 1968-January/February 1969
10 PATCO Journals, April 1969-October 1969
11 PATCO Journals, December 1969, April 1970, November/December 1975
12 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, February 23, 1972-September 25, 1973
13 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, October 24, 1973-June 15, 1974
14 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, July 5, 1974-December 1974
15 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, February 23, 1975-February 11, 1976
16 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, March 11, 1976-January 27, 1977
17 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, March 4, 1977-January 30, 1978
Box Folder
5 1 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, March 10, 1978 December 1978
2 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, February 1979-January 1980
3 PATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, March 25, 1980-June 25, 1982
4 PATCO Lives Newsletters, National Headquarters, December 17, 1984-January/February 1986
5 PATCO Lives Newsletters, National Headquarters, March/April 1986-1st Quarter 1988
6 Pens of PATCO, undated
7 Rocky Mountain Hi Newsletters, Denver Center, March 1, 1980-April 1981
8 Seattle Needle Newsletters, Seattle Center, October 1980-December 1980
9 USATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, August 4, 1982-May 1983
10 USATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, June 1983-October 1983
11 USATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, November 1983-February 1984
12 USATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, March 1984-June 1984
13 USATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, July 1984-September 1984
14 USATCO Newsletter, National Headquarters, October 1984-November/December 1984
15 USATCO District 3 Newsletters, Kailua, Hawaii, October 1982, April 1983, May 1983, One issue undated.
16 Political Action Committee Bulletins, April-1979-October 7, 1981, and USATCO P, A, C, letter dated August 5, 1984
17 Washington Updates, April 1979-February 20, 1981
18 Miscellaneous Political Action Materials, January 30, 1981-November 20, 1981
19 Miscellaneous Newsletters

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Series III. Newspaper, Journal, and Magazine Clippings, 1972-1988
Extent 0.6 linear ft. (1.6 document boxes, 24 folders)

Arranged chronologically from 1972 to 1988; submitted from local and national sources. The two most prevalent sources are the Anchorage Daily News and the Anchorage Times.
Box Folder
6 1 Clippings from U.S. Media, June 1972-July 20, 1978
2 Clippings from U.S. Media, April 23, 1978-September 4, 1980
3 Clippings from U.S. Media, September 7, 1980-December 15, 1980
4 Clippings from U.S. Media, January 5, 1981-April 10, 1981
5 Clippings from U.S. Media, May 4, 1981-July 31, 1981
6 Clippings from U.S. Media, August 1, 1981-August 10, 1981
7 Clippings from U.S. Media, August 11, 1981-August 19, 1981
8 Clippings from U.S. Media, August 20, 1981-August 31, 1981
9 Clippings from U.S. Media, September 1, 1981-September 10, 1981
10 Clippings from U.S. Media, September 11, 1981-September 20, 1981
11 Clippings from U.S. Media, September 21, 1981-September 30, 1981
12 Clippings from U.S. Media, October 1, 1981-October 10, 1981
13 Clippings from U.S. Media, October 11, 1981-October 20, 1981
Box Folder
7 1 Clippings from U.S. Media, October 21, 1981-October 31, 1981
2 Clippings from U.S. Media, November 1, 1981-November 30, 1981
3 Clippings from U.S. Media, December 1, 1981-December 31, 1981
4 Clippings from U.S. Media, January 1, 1982-January 31, 1982
5 Clippings from U.S. Media, February 1, 1982-February 28, 1982
6 Clippings from U.S. Media, March 1, 1982-April 30, 1982
7 Clippings from U.S. Media, April 28, 1982-September 30, 1982
8 Clippings from U.S. Media, October 4, 1982-December 31, 1983
9 Clippings from U.S. Media, January 1, 1984-December 31, 1985
10 Clippings from U.S. Media, January 1986-March 1988
11 Clippings from U.S. Media, undated; Air Traffic Controller Health Change Study, Boston University School of Medicine, August 1978; PATCO Facility Guide, Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Suite 706, 2100 M. Street, N. W., Washington, D. C., 20037, undated

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Series IV. Artifacts
Extent 0.40 linear ft. (1.0 document box, containing numerous artifacts).

Includes air traffic controller's headset, PATCO union T-shirts, PATCO union clothing bag, union buttons, bumper stickers, and two videotapes.
Box
8 Ball Cap with PATCO logo
Air Traffic Controller's Head Piece
PATCO Bumper Stickers
PATCO T-shirt
PATCO Suit Bag
PATCO Union Buttons
PATCO Video Tapes
Videotape #1 contains excerpts from: NIGHTLINE and an interview with Robert E. Poli, president of PATCO; Drew Lewis, Secretary of Transportation; FACE THE NATION, an on-the-air interview with F. Lee Bailey, the attorney for PACT; MEET THE PRESS, with an interview with Drew Luis. Also contains many of the news releases during the crisis of the air traffic controllers' strike (four hours in length).
Videotape #2 contains hundreds of television news stories that were aired across the nation from 1979 to 1982(seven hours in length).

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