Seventy-eight members of Congress urged President Reagan today to rehire some of the air traffic controllers fired in 1981 during an illegal strike.
Rep. Guy V. Molinari (R-N.Y.), in releasing a letter at a news conference said, "We are concerned about the very serious lack of experience in our current controller work force and a steadily diminishing level of safety."
President Reagan, Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole and Federal Aviation Administration chief Donald D. Engen oppose rehiring the fired controllers.
About 13,000 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization walked off the job in an illegal federal employees strike in August, 1981, and Reagan fired 11,400 of them. The union was later decertified.