Photo By: 
Thomas Lillis IV

NATCA Stands Up For Themselves

In an unofficial sick out call in, Federal workers shut down LaGuardia Airport

Kris LaGrange's picture
Jan 25, 2019

After 35 days of a government shutdown, Trump addressed the nation in a Rose Garden speech where he announced that he was caving to pressure and would re-open the government. The temporary deal will re-open the government for three weeks and will provide no money for the border wall of hate.

Trump was forced into the deal after federal workers missed their second paychecks on Friday. In another dubious first for the United States under Trump, Friday also marked the first time in our nation’s history that one branch of the military, the Coast Guard, was not paid.

In response to the lack of pay, hundreds of air traffic controllers called out on Friday causing LaGuardia Airport in New York to temporarily close. Other airports like Newark and Philadelphia also faced delays of up to 90 minutes. While the union, NATCA, that represents air traffic controllers said in a statement that this was not a concerted job action on the part of the union, they did say that many of their members have reached a breaking point thanks to the shutdown. “Air traffic controllers are required to report fit for duty every shift. It is a very high threshold of fitness demanded by the seriousness of the job. This shutdown has caused a tremendous amount of added stress for them on top of what is already a difficult and stressful job.”

The stress continued to mount as many federal employees were forced to reach out to local food pantries to feed their families. In an effort to support their locked-out brothers and sisters, many local unions began collecting food and supplies to aid these struggling families. Even with the shutdown coming to an end the struggle won’t end for many of these families as they won’t receive paychecks immediately.

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