The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, claiming that requiring air traffic controllers to come to work without getting paid goes against their constitutional rights.
Mick Devine, the New England Regional Vice President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said that they’re already low on staff and the government shutdown has made things even worse.
“Eighteen percent of our members are eligible to retire,” he said. “They’re going to retire if this goes on much longer.”
Michael Dalmaso, president of the local National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said that the shutdown is causing workers’ morales to drop.
“It’s extremely disappointing to know that we are going to do our job every day, and it’s a job that’s not easy. It’s a difficult job, it’s stressful, but we’re required to sit there and do it every day. It’d be nice to think that our elected officials would also be required to do their jobs with the same level of professionalism that we do every day,” he said.
The government shutdown started at the end of December after President Donald Trump didn’t back down from his demands for funding a wall along the southern border. The House and Senate voted to provide back pay to more than 800,000 federal workers nationwide going without pay, but some employees say that’s not good enough.
Dalmaso said that they’re not intending to make this a political issue.
“We want to make it an issue of what’s right and what’s fair. What the government should be doing is the heavy lifting, and doing the work of the people to get the government working the way it’s supposed to,” he said.