More than three weeks into the government shutdown, Canadian air traffic controllers proved that they care more about the workers doing their jobs without pay than the American president.
Air traffic controllers all over Canada took up a collection last week to send more than 300 pizzas to some of the 10,000 American air traffic controllers who have been working for free since December, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Peter Duffey, the head of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, said union members were looking for a way to show their support and sympathy:
“Air traffic control is a very stressful job,” he said. “They say you have to be 100 per cent right, 100 per cent of the time. People just don’t need to be reporting to work with the added stress of worrying about how to pay their mortgages and grocery bills on top of it.”
At least 36 facilities have received pizza so far. Ron Singer, the national media manager for Nav Canada, says air traffic controllers from the US and Canada are in contact “on a daily basis,” so “there’s a bond there.”
Meanwhile, White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett doesn’t understand why all these furloughed and unpaid government employees are bitching about a free vacation, and told PBS NewsHour that “in some sense, they’re better off.”