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Aviation Labor Unions Highlight Growing Safety, Security Concerns as Shutdown Drags On

Washington, DC — Last night, aviation labor unions under the umbrella of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), convened an emergency meeting to highlight the compounding threats to safety and security the government shutdown is having on the national airspace system.

Presidents of both public and private sector unions, including the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), and the Transport Workers Union (TWU), outlined the mounting effects the government shutdown is having on the aviation industry and frontline transportation workers.

Specifically, union leaders discussed:

  • attrition in safety-sensitive positions as a result of workers not being able to afford living without a paycheck;
  • the ramifications of being unable to address equipment outages and staffing shortages;
  • the effects toxic levels of stress are having on those who play critical roles in keeping the aviation industry safe and secure; and
  • the broader economic and security risks that come with a prolonged shutdown.

The meeting came the day before the Senate is expected to vote on a continuing resolution to re-open the government through February 8. Aviation union presidents urge senators to support the CR and remain steadfast in their message to lawmakers: the safety, security, and economic viability of the aviation industry depends on a fully funded federal government.

Following the meeting, the union presidents issued this joint statement:

“We have growing concerns about the effects this shutdown is having on our aviation system. There is going to come a point when we are no longer able to maintain the levels of safety and security the aviation industry and the traveling public have come to know and rely upon. The longer the shutdown goes on, the greater that threat becomes. Lawmakers have a responsibility to preserve the safety and integrity of our nation’s aviation system by re-opening the federal government.”

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