Airport workers hit hard by government shutdown

Politics

America’s airports are the epicenter for effects of the government shutdown. TSA security officers, air traffic controllers, and immigration officers are all among the government employees who have been working without pay.  

Airline workers fear for their financial future, national security and airline passenger safety.

TSA employee, Rachel Abraham, who is working without pay said, “this is about our safety and security and our jobs and our entire countries economic stability. No one will get out of this unscathed if we do not stop this shutdown.”

President Paul Rinaldi, head of the Air Traffic Controllers Association said if the shutdown continues, airlines may have to reduce flights.

“Right now we have a chink in the system is what I’m saying. We are opening ourselves up to risk in the system,” he said.

This shutdown is affecting airports across the country. Airline officials say nearly 40 percent of FAA workers have been furloughed while thousands are working without pay.

Virginia senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner say federal workers are being held hostage because of the president’s demand for a border wall.

“This is a disaster,” Senator Kaine said. “To punish a whole lot of people unnecessarily. We are not going to compromise on that.”

“No rational worker thought he was doing anything other than just being Trumpian in his overstatements,” said Senator Mark Warner.

Both Democrats said they’re willing to negotiate a deal on border security, but Senator Kaine says government shutdowns should not be a negotiating tactic.

Airline officials insist they will not compromise on passenger safety, government employees say despite going another week without a paycheck, safety remains their top priority.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...