On this day (August 5) in 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 air traffic controllers who had gone on strike and banned them from federal employment for life — a ban that was eventually rescinded during President Bill Clinton’s first year in office. Gary Leff has posted this history of the ill-fated air traffic controllers strike of 1981. Here is an excerpt from Leff’s excellent post (View from the Wing): “August 3-5, 1981 were a remarkable set of days in U.S. aviation. Negotiations between the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the air traffic controllers union broke down in 1981. The union, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, wanted to reduce work hours to 32 and wanted a $10,000 raise for each controller. The FAA offered 11.4% a year raises for 3 years, which was more than double what was offered to other federal employees. No reduced work week was offered.”
According to Leff, “The government managed to get air system capacity up to 50%, enough not to have to capitulate politically to the strikers. Without flights, the administration would have been under tremendous pressure to agree to terms. Some military controllers were used, along with air traffic control supervisors, and other employees to restore air service capacity. It took 10 years for staffing levels to be fully restored.”
I have been attending the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) this past week on Amelia Island. In addition to the lovely location and in-depth discussions about many different areas of law (this morning, for example, I attended an excellent panel on insider trading law), one of the things I love about SEALS is how family friendly the conference is.
According to this recent report by Susan Adams (via Forbes), more and more college students are using Chegg and other similar “study” platforms to cheat on their online exams and assignments. Starting next month, I will begin a new series on “the law and ethics of Chegg” and make the case that Chegg should be criminally charged with wire fraud and with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In the meantime, however, I will remain offline while my family and I take a well-deserved beach vacation …