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Digital Subscriptions > iScot Magazine > Issue 57 OctoberNovember > Karoshi

Karoshi

(noun: (in Japan) death caused by overwork or job-related exhaustion)

IN THE AEROSPACE industry a jet engine ‘burns out’ when it runs out of fuel or its fuel supply is cut off. But the rise of the jet engine led to a different form of burnout. Following the end of the Korean War in the 1950s the jet engine, which up till then had been largely confined to military aircraft, began to dominate the civil airline industry. Nowhere was this more evident than in the USA where the 1960s saw a dramatic rise in the number of flights as jet engines offered cheaper, faster and more reliable travel arrangements.

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy issued an Executive Order that allowed federal employees to set up and join trade unions. In 1963 his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, issued another Executive Order that introduced dramatic reductions in federal spending. One of the areas targeted was the air traffic control sector. There seemed to be more air traffic controllers (ATCs) than were necessary for the number of flights that were operating in 1962. So between 1963 and 1967 a halt was put on recruiting new ATCs. But it soon became obvious that there were insufficient ATCs to manage the dramatic rise in air travel workloads.

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The one with the 'Sneering Brittannia' on the front cover. Enjoy this cornucopia of Celtic content and read about the real Scotland from a Scottish lens.