WASHINGTON, DC—Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) President Edward Wytkind issues this statement on the impact of a government shutdown on transportation:
“This is a dark day for our nation as extremists in Congress have managed to lock out 800,000 federal workers who have done nothing wrong, and have decided to hold Americans hostage to their destructive tactics.
“We’ve seen this irresponsible act before and we know that government shutdowns impact our transportation system, its users and the public and private sector employees who hold the system together.
“Washington’s destructive politics make it impossible to run a national transportation system. As federal transportation officials have announced, most grant-making operations are suspended because the dedicated professionals needed to distribute these vital investments will not be on the job. This means that critical resources for all modes of transport will not flow in a timely fashion as the shutdown gets deeper into the new fiscal year. This could have a severe impact on the states and their transportation authorities and private contractors.
“The government shutdown will send home FAA aviation safety inspectors who are responsible for oversight, certification and surveillance of both commercial and general aviation—from overseeing foreign-based facilities that maintain our aircraft to certifying pilots and flight instructors. In addition, several thousand other aviation safety professionals who directly run our National Airspace System have been furloughed. And here we go again: the critical work of advancing the Next Generation (NextGen) air traffic management system will be suspended again, as it was during the partial FAA shutdown in 2011.
“Make no mistake, an extended shutdown, especially this one estimated to cost our economy up to $10 billion a week, will have a negative impact on vital transportation programs. And the blackmail tactics of a minority bloc of politicians will deal another blow to working people struggling in an already slow economic recovery. This will be the message to our members in days ahead.”
CONTACT: Jennifer Michels, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703.395.2195