Union leader and buster Ronald Reagan to be inducted in Labor Hall of Honor

This file picture taken 04 November 1991 in Simi Valley, California, shows US President Ronald Reagan giving a speech at the dedication of the library bearing his name. 

J. DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. -- Former President Ronald Reagan, a one-time Hollywood union leader who fired 11,000 air traffic controllers and crushed their union, will be inducted into the Labor Department's Labor Hall of Honor. 

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta made the announcement Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in Simi Valley, California.

The honor is for Americans who improved working conditions, wages and quality of life for families.

Acosta noted that as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the 1940s and '50s, Reagan led the union through three strikes and negotiated health and pension benefits and residual payments for members.

However, as U.S. president in 1981, Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers, banned them from government jobs for life and decertified their union. A new union was only formed years later.