PASS President Warns That Government Shutdown Gambles With Aviation Safety

For every day the federal government is shut down and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees are impacted, the nation’s aviation system is gambling with aviation safety, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists National President Mike Perrone told Congress today. And while 4,000 aviation safety inspectors were furloughed at the onset of the partial government shutdown, he said, “A critical layer of safety was missing, and this is unacceptable.” (Watch President's Perrone's opening statement at right.)

Perrone testified in front of the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at a hearing entitled “Putting U.S. Aviation Safety at Risk: The Impact of the Shutdown.” The hearing was called to examine how the recent 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government impacted FAA functions and operations, as well as the U.S. aviation industry and workforce.

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PASS Members to Attend State of the Union

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) is proud that two of its members have been invited by their congressional representatives to be guests at tonight’s State of the Union address held at the U.S. Capitol. PASS Chapter FL1 President, Douglas Lowe, is the guest of Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and PASS Chapter CA3 member, Joe Rodgers, is the guest of Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.).

Lowe is an airways transportation systems specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) who works at Orlando International Airport. Rodgers is an engineering technician with the FAA who works at Ontario [California] International Airport. Both men are military veterans who chose to continue serving their country by joining the FAA.

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PASS, Federal-Postal Coalition Urge Senate to Reopen Government

On January 23, PASS, along with other members of the Federal-Postal Coalition, sent a letter to the Senate encouraging them to end the shutdown and allow all federal employees to get back to work and be fairly compensated.

“Funding the government is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of Congress and the President,” stated the letter. “A lapse in government funding compromises critical federal services, including our national safety and security. Each day that the shutdown continues, more Americans begin to feel the effects of having a government that is only partially operating."

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One Shutdown Ended, Another Looms Over Federal Employees

As PASS-represented employees went back to work this week at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), joining their colleagues who have been on the job without pay, PASS National President Mike Perrone reminded his members that the three-week continuing resolution signed January 25 was only a short-term respite. In a message yesterday, Perrone commended the workforce on the number of informational pickets held at airports across the country over the last month to highlight the effects of the government shutdown on aviation safety. “Friday’s news was only a temporary reprieve and we could be back on those picket lines in three weeks, so the fight isn’t over,” Perrone said.

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PASS Joins Lawsuit Against Federal Government

Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO, took legal action against the U.S. government for its failure to pay employees during the current government shutdown. In an act of solidarity, PASS is joining a lawsuit with other unions of the Federal Workers Alliance, including the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) and the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO).

“We need this shutdown to end,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone. “We want to ensure that employees receive pay for the tremendous work they do in keeping our air traffic control system the safest in the world. And they are continuing to do that under extremely challenging circumstances.”

PASS plans to continue exploring every possible legal and legislative avenue. In the meantime, PASS believes it is in the interest of all federal employees to work with fellow unions who are also representing workers being harmed and disrespected by this furlough.

  

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