Ronald Reagan on Jobs

President of the U.S., 1981-1989; Republican Governor (CA)


Worker & managers join forces to rebuild economy

It is time for a new set of ground rules for the interaction between business and labor, one they jointly determine and then present to Congress. While many fervently argue that such a conciliatory role for government is presently impossible, the only president of an AFL-CIO affiliated union who reached our nation's highest office--Ronald Reagan--disagreed: "Unions represent some of the freest institutions in this land. Too often, discussions about the labor movement dwell only on disputes or corruption or strikes. It also might be nice for once if we could hear about the thousands of hard-working, honest, union officials who have done so much to improve your movement and raise the standard of living for all Americans. So instead of workers and management trying to solve the dilemma by opposing each other, it's time you joined forces, so you can get on with the task of rebuilding our economy. Saving American jobs and raising the standard of living for all our people--that's part of the job.
Source: Seize Freedom, by Rep. Thad McCotter, p. 85-86 , Feb 8, 2011

Fired PATCO workers who broke oath not to strike

On August 3, 1981, 13,000 Professional Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) walked off the job. President Reagan asked, “Don’t these air traffic controllers take the same oath that everyone who works for the US takes, promising not to strike against the government?”

I said I was sure the controllers signed that oath because we all had. I still do not know how he knew about it, because although the President takes the oath, I am sure he does not sign a form not to strike.

Reagan announced that any air traffic controller who did not return to work would be fired. He said, “Let me read the oath taken by these employees: ‘I am not participating in any strike against the Government of the US or any agency thereof, and I will not so participate while an employee of the Government of the US or any agency thereof.’”

Here was the Great Communicator reading from an oath that every one of those controllers had signed. Suddenly it was as if the controllers had been caught betraying their country.

Source: Leadership, autobiography by Rudolph Giuliani, p.200-201 , Oct 1, 2002

Minimum wage does away with jobs, especially for black youth

CARTER: One of Gov. Reagan's ideas is to repeal the minimum wage. Gov. Reagan has said that the major cause of unemployment is the minimum wage. This is a heartless kind of approach to the working families of our country which is typical of many Republican leaders in the past, but I think has been accentuated under Gov. Reagan.

REAGAN: The President says that I was against the minimum wage. I wish he could have been with me when I sat with a group of teenagers who were black and who were telling me about their unemployment problems, and that it was the minimum wage that had done away with the jobs that they once could get. And indeed, every time it has increased you will find there is an increase in minority unemployment among young people. And therefore, I have been in favor of a separate minimum for them.

Source: The Reagan-Carter Presidential Debate , Oct 28, 1980

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Other past presidents on Jobs: Ronald Reagan on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022