- Published: January 10, 2019
Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the union that represents aviation safety inspectors, systems specialists and other aviation professionals at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), joined other labor unions and congressional leaders to rally on Capitol Hill against the partial government shutdown. With the government shutdown approaching three weeks, aviation safety inspectors are not able to perform their critical tasks and many other FAA employees are working without a paycheck.
“We stand with those in the labor and aviation communities to let Congress and the White House know that this government shutdown hurts the employees we proudly represent and impacts the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct important safety-related functions,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone at the rally. “Essential aviation professionals have been forced to the sidelines and their important work is not getting done. Without a fully functioning FAA, a layer of safety is missing. Let me say that again: Without a fully functioning FAA, a layer of safety is missing.”
Perrone explained that, due to the shutdown, aviation safety inspectors are not on the job overseeing the commercial and general aviation industries and manufacturing inspectors are not overseeing the building of aircraft parts, facilities and equipment. “There is a reason these positions exist,” he said. “They regulate the industry to ensure the highest standard of safety. And safety is our business, our ONLY business.”
PASS also represents FAA technicians who certify air traffic control systems and equipment are functioning. These employees are working without pay, and without any assurances that they will be paid. “When technicians go to work, they should only have to focus on the important job of making sure equipment is properly maintained and certified, not whether their families are financially secure,” said Perrone. PASS is calling for immediate passage of the Government Employees Fair Treatment Act (S.24) to ensure federal employees will be paid after the shutdown.
In conclusion, Perrone emphasized that the debate consuming Washington has nothing to do with aviation safety. “Every day that elected officials allow this shutdown to continue, it’s putting the safety and efficiency of the aviation system at risk. This is unacceptable,” he said. “Those in power need to pass a funding bill for the Department of Transportation and stop holding aviation safety hostage.”
Contact: Liz Doherty, Communications Director