Air Traffic Controllers Sue Trump Over Shutdown

Galtero Lara
Enero 12, 2019

Because of lags in pay cycles, TSA workers are set to miss their first paycheck on Friday.

The Miami airport, which has intensified the debate over TSA with its concourse closure, is not yet considering privatizing its passenger-screening operation, a spokesman said.

Airports Council International-North America, which represents U.S. airports, urged Mr Trump and congressional leaders in a letter to quickly reopen the government.

The partial shutdown of the United States government could have serious consequences for air safety, according to unions representing aviation workers, which are calling for an immediate resolution to the budgetary stalemate.

"I can't imagine what the line would be like if they were not here", one passenger said. "We are, though, very much monitoring checkpoints, and we're in close contact with the federal authorities and the airlines", said Cynthia Vega, a spokeswoman for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. On Friday, their union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington and asked for an order that its members get paid. Federal screeners are calling in sick at double the normal rate for Miami, and TSA managers aren't confident they will have enough workers to operate all 11 checkpoints at normal hours throughout the airport, said MIA spokesman Greg Chin. And it's also just a good policy to be calm, polite, and courteous to airport workers who are helping you, especially knowing that they're doing it without pay.

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The security screeners and controllers are among workers declared essential to security and safety and have been ordered to work without pay.

Several federal workers are now speaking out about working without pay or being furloughed in their job and an uncertain future. The agency is focusing on ensuring its resources are devoted to ensure that the system remains safe, it said in a statement. The Senate already passed the measure, which now goes to Trump for his signature.

The partial government shutdown is starting to strain the national aviation system, with unpaid security screeners staying home, air-traffic controllers suing the government and safety inspectors off the job. "We thank TSA officers for their resilience and diligence, and we thank industry and the public for their continued acts of kindness and support".

According to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), more than 50,000 TSA officers and staff will most likely miss another paycheck during this shutdown.

TSA officers screened 1.96 million passengers on Thursday and 99.9 percent waited in line less than 30 minutes, according to the agency.

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