We’re in the longest government shutdown in the history of this country, we’ve heard that point ad-nauseam. Things are starting to snowball and get really bad, we keep hearing that too. But just how bad exactly? Well, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, and pilots are the latest to join the chorus of American workers who warn that we are lacking the critical resources and security measures to operate safely and sufficiently.
In a joint statement released Wednesday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the Air Line Pilots Association, and the Association of Flight Attendants stated:
“We have a growing concern for the safety and security of our members, our airlines, and the traveling public due to the government shut down… In our risk-averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented.”
Safety inspectors, air marshals, airport law enforcement, and thousands of air traffic controllers are all working, without pay, with no end of the shutdown in sight. If that doesn’t make you feel f*cking terrified, you’re very brave but also quite possibly stupid.
Over 800,000 federal workers and government contractors will be missing their second paycheck since the shutdown and they’re likely rightfully enraged, but they can’t exactly pick up a picket sign and go on strike — that’s illegal for federal employees. To remedy this situation, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, Sara Nelson, encouraged private sector employees to strike in solidarity with those unable to.
“Federal sector unions have their hands full caring for the 800,000 federal works who are at the tip of the spear. Some would say the answer is for them to walk off the job… What are you willing to do? Their destiny is tied up with our destiny – and they don’t even have time to ask us for help. Don’t wait for an invitation. Get engaged, join or plan a rally, get on a picket line, organize sit-ins at lawmakers offices.” said Nelson in a speech.
When you hear a rallying call from the President of the Association of Flight Attendants you know we’ve waded into unprecedented waters. Remember, all of this is for an ineffective and costly wall that a majority of American’s don’t want.