Shutdown Elevated to High Level by NATCA
Thursday, August 04, 2011
A high profile story on the homepage of CNN.com. The front page of the Washington Post. Four prime time news stories on Wednesday night, and a slew of others Thursday morning. After the Democrats and Republicans signed the all-consuming debt-ceiling bill into law, most skipped town on recess—without passing a short-term extension to FAA reauthorization. Their failure to act resulted in the indefinite furlough of 4,000 FAA employees, including 1,200 represented by NATCA. Tens of thousands of construction workers nationwide have also been left in the lurch without jobs or paychecks.
This week, the partial FAA shutdown became a major news story nationwide. And with this heightened focus came more education to the public on our plight. Politico.com’s article “The FAA Impasse: A primer” is a great place to start for those who are just starting to learn about the issue. The article outlines the history of the FAA Reauthorization bill, as well as the finer points of the fierce partisan debate that has caught our engineers and architects in the crosshairs.
Furloughed NATCA members arrived at the National Headquarters this week to work the issue and take meetings on the Hill. The Washington Post’s Federal Eye followed our Region X brothers, headed by RVP Mike MacDonald, to the halls of the Capitol yesterday as they lobbied those members of Congress who remained in Washington. Their message: to petition their colleagues to return to Washington and pass an extension allowing FAA employees to get back to work.
National television networks such as NBC, MSNBC, CBS and FOX have also run lead stories featuring our furloughed members as they call upon Congress to end the furloughs and restore the jobs of up to 70,000 people across the country. Region X member Dan Stefko and RVP Mike MacDonald have been featured in prominent interviews that have helped get the word out.
Meanwhile, President Obama has focused on ending our furloughs for the last several days. He repeatedly called on Congress to return from recess and act on this critical issue. You can watch his address to members of his cabinet here. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood urged the same message in several press conferences and an article on CNN.com.
As the buzz grew in Washington, NATCA leadership and members across the country stood in solidarity with those whose jobs remain up in the air, and we thank each and every one of you for your determined efforts.
For more of the week's media clips featuring NATCA leadership and members, see below:
Federal News Radio
NY Daily News
Atlanta Journal Constitution
NATCA speaks with the media, Thursday, Aug. 4:
On Monday, Aug. 1, a press conference was held at LGA where NATCA members were in abundance to raise the public profile of the issue.
Above: This NATCA photo was shown on media outlets across the country, including CNN, ABC affiliates and more.
Below: EVP Trish Gilbert joins NATCA engineers in voicing their concerns in regards to
the FAA furlough.