Ronald Reagan named to Labor Department hall of fame

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta announced on Thursday that former President Ronald Reagan would be inducted into the department’s hall of fame.

The honor comes even though Reagan frequently clashed with labor groups during his presidency. 

Acosta announced the induction at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California on Thursday, noting that the former actor served as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), according to remarks reported by the Washington Examiner.

“I hope you’ll forgive me if I point with some pride to the fact that I’m the first president of the United States to hold a lifetime membership in an AFL-CIO union,” Reagan said in 1981, referring to SAG’s affiliation with the AFL-CIO. 

{mosads}Acosta also mentioned the former president’s role promoting the USSR’s first free and independent trade union, Poland’s Solidarity movement. 

But Reagan had a frequently fraught relationship with unions while in office. 

Reagan fired over 11,000 air traffic controllers who were on strike after their negotiations with the Federal Aviation Administration failed in 1981. 

The president of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization had originally demanded a wage increase and a reduction to their five day, 40-hour work week. 

Reagan called the strike illegal. 

The conservative icon will join labor leaders such as Cesar Chavez in the hall of fame. 

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