Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Air traffic controllers sue Trump administration over government shutdown

Air traffic controllers sue Trump administration over government shutdown

The shutdown will have dragged on for 24 days when lawmakers return to work Monday - smashing the 21 days set during the Clinton administration in 1995-96.

About 3,300 aviation safety inspectors under the FAA are not working - since 2013, they have not been considered essential employees who must stay on the job during government shutdowns.

An NPR poll released Friday shows 74 percent of Americans believe the government shutdown is embarrassing for the country and they feel frustrated or angry toward the federal government. Detroit isn't left out.

The lawsuit is at least the third filed by a union on behalf of federal employees who have not been paid during the shutdown, which began December 22.

The union called the ongoing shutdown unsafe fo public safety.

Some 800,000 workers across the government have been furloughed during the shutdown, which will become the longest in US history if it continues into Saturday. For employees, the consequences are getting real as they're about to miss their first paycheck on Friday.

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Some airports are doing what they can to help federal employees who are working without pay.

"Due to an increased number of TSA screeners not reporting to work, we have chose to take this precautionary step and relocate about 12 flights to adjoining concourses in the afternoons", he said. TSA agents are on the lower end of the federal pay scale, earning between $36,000 and $43,000 annually.

Several dozen workers were seen out front carrying signs and getting the attention of travelers during the rally. "It is only reasonable to expect officer call outs and resignations to increase the longer the shutdown lasts, since no employee can be expected to work indefinitely without pay".

Even before the shutdown, controllers have been working six-day weeks and 10-hour days at numerous country's busiest airports, NACTA's president Paul Rinaldi said, adding: "This staffing crisis is negatively affecting the National Airspace System, and the shutdown nearly certainly will make a bad situation worse".

"They're anxious about how they're going to feed their children at the end of the month. Gas to work is gonna be a struggle".

As Miami International Airport prepares to close a concourse to departing flights amid a shortage of security screeners, Congressional Democrats used the terminal as an example of why the federal shutdown needs to end immediately.

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