United, Alaska, and Spirit flight attendants are warning Trump, Pelosi, and McConnell that the government shutdown is doing real damage to the airline industry

flight attendant alaska airlines

  • The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA)
    circulated a letter on Thursday asking President Donald
    Trump
    , House Speaker Nancy
    Pelosi
    , and Senate Majority Leader Mitch
    McConnell
    to end the government
    shutdown
    .
  • The AFA-CWA is a union representing 50,000 flight
    attendants
    from airlines such as United,
    Alaska,
    Spirit,
    and Hawaiian.
  • The flight attendants were joined by more than 30 other
    unions and organization from across the aviation industry,
    including the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the National
    Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).
  • They are asking both sides of the aisle to end the
    shutdown due to the operational and financial harm being done to
    workers and the traveling public. 

As the federal government shutdown drags into its third week,
the US civil aviation industry has issued a warning to both sides
of the political divide that real harm is being done.

On Thursday, the
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA 
circulated a letter
dispatched to President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

“We write to urge you to act now to prevent the negative impacts
currently being experienced by the U.S. aviation industry that
supports the traveling and shipping public,” the letter said. 
“This partial shutdown has already inflicted real damage to our
nation’s aviation system and the impacts will only worsen over
time.”

The AFA-CWA, a union representing 50,000 flight attendants from
airlines such as United, Alaska, Spirit, and Hawaiian, have been
joined by more than 30 other unions and organization from across
the aviation industry including the Air Line Pilots Association
(ALPA) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association
(NATCA).

Read more:
Delta, United, and JetBlue pilots are warning that flying will
become more dangerous as the government shutdown continues
.

In the letter, the organizations express concerns about the
shutdown’s impact across the industry, including:

  • The training of air-traffic controllers has been halted even
    though the number of working controllers is already at a 30-year
    low. In addition, controllers and the technical operations staff
    who maintain air-traffic-control equipment are working without pay,
    athough it should be noted that they are due back pay once the
    shutdown is over. 
  • The certification and authorization of new aircraft have been
    halted. This means that airlines can’t add new planes to their
    fleets. According to the letter, this could hinder planned route
    expansion and cause flight cancellations. 
  • The Federal Aviation Administration cannot issue new student
    pilot certificates, which has halted the training of prospective
    pilots. In addition, the FAA is also not processing background
    checks, which prevents new-hire pilots from continuing their
    training. 
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and
    Border Protection Agents are working without pay. This, the letter
    says, creates severe financial hardship since many are living
    paycheck to paycheck.

The
AFA-CWA and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants
(APFA)
sent a separate letter on Thursday to Trump, Pelosi, and
McConnell, demanding an end to the shutdown. The APFA represents
flight attendants from American Airlines. 

“Flight Attendants across the industry ask you to end the
shutdown now,” the letter reads. “This is a matter of safety,
security, and economic concern.”

These letters echo many of the concerns voiced by ALPA, NATCA,
and the TSA workers’ union in recent weeks. In a letter to Trump,
ALPA said that the shutdown is negatively affecting the safety,
security, and efficiency of the national airspace. 

Read more:
TSA employees working unpaid because of the government shutdown are
quitting — and this could create a ‘massive security risk’ for
travelers
.

The head of the TSA workers’ union said in a post on the
organization’s website that some workers had already quit and that
many others were considering quitting due to a lack of
income. 

Aviation industry workers, along with som political leaders, are
rallying in Washington, DC, on Thursday to demand an end to the
government shutdown. 

Here’s the AFA-CWA’s first letter in its entirety:

 

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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
United, Alaska, and Spirit flight attendants are warning Trump, Pelosi, and McConnell that the government shutdown is doing real damage to the airline industry