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Michigan congressman meets with air traffic controllers amid partial federal government shutdown

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Air traffic controllers Monday told a Michigan congressman they want to get paid.

The federal workers who guide the nation’s airways are among those working without a pay check during the partial federal government shutdown.

Congressman Dan Kildee (D) sat down with several air traffic controllers in his Flint office. Kildee says some federal employees may soon be looking for another job.

“Some of them are going to get to that point pretty soon,” says Kildee. “The mistake that the president is making, and Republicans in the Senate are making, is to believe when this is over we just go back and start up where we left off.  Some of these folks aren’t going to be there.”

Kildee says a lengthening shutdown could be a particular problem for air travel.   

He says a large percentage of the current air traffic controllers are eligible for early retirement and uncertainty about future pay checks may discourage new people from filling those empty seats.

Their union is suing the Trump administration to force it to pay air traffic controllers during the shutdown. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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