Published: Wed, January 16, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Winnipeg Air Traffic Controllers send pizza to USA counterparts

Winnipeg Air Traffic Controllers send pizza to USA counterparts

"They talk to those people daily on the phone... so they consider them co-workers and they said, hey, let's send them some pizza".

According to CNN, the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association was looking for a way to help out their American counterparts as they faced their first payday without a check.

A collection started by employees had blossomed into an industry-wide show of solidarity, the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association told the BBC.

As a show of solidarity, a number of air traffic controllers have banded together to get meals for their American counterparts amid the ongoing government shutdown.

Members of the ATC staff at Portland International Jetway in ME also posted a message on their shared Facebook page, thanking their neighbors to the north for sending pizza and demonstrating that there are "people out there who actually care and want to help in a time of need!"

It took a while for Cormier, an air traffic controller with Nav Canada in Edmonton, to find a place that would accept a Canadian credit card and get the idea cleared with airport security, but soon his colleagues were chowing down on some fresh pies.

"The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and center for the colleagues in the U.S", Duffey said.

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Doug Church, deputy director of public affairs for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in the USA told CBC there are 14,000 controllers now working without pay.

As of midday Monday, Duffey said over 400 pizzas have been sent to 52 different air traffic control facilities in the USA - "and that number just keeps growing".

"Air traffic control is a very stressful job", Business Insider reported Duffey as saying.

Ron Singer, media relations manager for Nav Canada, the corporation that employs Canadian controllers, said all seven of Canada's control centers and numerous country's 40 airport control towers have sent pizza to their American colleagues. "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'. "On behalf of the entire NATCA and air traffic control around this country, we extend our thanks and our gratitude".

On Friday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit in a District of Columbia US District Court alleging the government has "unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages", according to a news release.

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