Air traffic controllers' union sues over unpaid work during government shutdown




  • In US
  • 2019-01-11 18:52:58Z
  • By By Daniel Wiessner
Federal air traffic controller union members protest the partial U.
Federal air traffic controller union members protest the partial U.  

By Daniel Wiessner

(Reuters) - A union that represents thousands of U.S. air traffic controllers filed a lawsuit against the federal government on Friday claiming its failure to pay the workers during an ongoing partial government shutdown could endanger passengers' safety.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association said that requiring 16,000 controllers to work without pay violates their constitutional rights and a federal wage law in a lawsuit in federal court in Washington D.C.

"America wants its air traffic controllers to be laser-focused on landing planes safely and monitoring America's runways, not distracted by financial issues and anxiety of financial instability," the union said in the lawsuit.

NATCA also moved for a court order requiring the government to restore air traffic controllers' pay while the lawsuit is pending. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has funds to pay the workers despite the ongoing shutdown, the union said.

The FAA and the U.S. Department of Justice, which defends the federal government in court, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit is at least the third filed by a union on behalf of federal employees who have not been paid during the shutdown, which began Dec. 22. The other cases were brought by unions that represent tens of thousands of border patrol and immigration agents, guards at federal prisons, and other workers.

The shutdown was triggered by a standoff over funding for President Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Some 800,000 workers across the government have been furloughed during the shutdown, which will become the longest in U.S. history if it continues into Saturday. But personnel that are deemed "essential," including air traffic controllers and law enforcement agents, have been working without pay.

In the past, federal employees have been granted back-pay when the government reopened after a shutdown.

But courts have ordered the government to pay additional damages to workers in certain cases because they were not paid on time.

The case is NATCA v. USA, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 1:19-cv-00062.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and James Dalgleish)

COMMENTS

More Related News

British lawmakers vote to seize control of Brexit for a day
British lawmakers vote to seize control of Brexit for a day
  • World
  • 2019-03-26 00:19:19Z

Lawmakers will now vote on a range of Brexit options on Wednesday, giving parliament a chance to indicate whether it can agree on a deal with closer ties to Brussels - and then try to push the government in that direction. Nearly three years after the 2016 EU membership referendum, and four days before

First-of-its-kind US nuclear waste dump marks 20 years
First-of-its-kind US nuclear waste dump marks 20 years

In a remote stretch of New Mexico desert, the U.S. government put in motion an experiment aimed at proving to the world that radioactive waste could be safely disposed of deep underground, rendering it less of a threat to the environment. Twenty years and more than 12,380 shipments later, tons of Cold

Bulgarian justice minister resigns over real estate deal
Bulgarian justice minister resigns over real estate deal

Bulgarian Justice Minister Tsetska Tsacheva resigned on Saturday following media reports that she and three other ruling center-right GERB party politicians have bought luxurious apartments at below market prices, the government's press office said. Tsacheva has denied any wrongdoing and asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the terms on which she had acquired a specious apartment in an upmarket Sofia neighborhood last year. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov accepted her resignation after meeting with her early on Saturday, the press office said in a statement.

French police out in force to prevent
French police out in force to prevent 'yellow vest' violence
  • World
  • 2019-03-23 09:20:09Z

Thousands of police fanned out across central Paris and other French cities Saturday ahead of planned "yellow vest" protests, with the government vowing to prevent a repeat of the rioting and looting seen in the capital last week. At the opposite end of the avenue access was completely blocked

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.