Fired Air Traffic Controllers Back To Work...

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But NATCA And FAA Still Feuding

Eleven air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) on Long Island who were fired by the FAA last August have been reinstated. The controllers had been fired for allegedly failing to report on their FAA medical forms that they'd sought treatment for job-related stress. "The case was so one-sided in our favor that we didn't call a single witness," said John Carr, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "NATCA did not even put on a defense, relying solely on the agency's witnesses to exonerate our people. The FAA folded like a cheap tent." The controllers will have letters of reprimand placed in their files for the failure to properly complete the forms and most will lose five days' pay. One of the 11 will lose 30 days' pay. Carr said the FAA has tried to "mislead the public into thinking that the agency has somehow snuffed out a case of abuse and misconduct." On the contrary, he said, the "FAA maliciously smeared its own employees, wrongfully terminated them and deliberately put their families through hell." NATCA said one of the FAA's witnesses testified that the controllers were removed in order to institute a "culture change."