Air traffic controllers and flight attendants just put Trump in checkmate over shutdown

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As President Trump’s shutdown drags on into its 35th day with no sign of any respite and the end of the month — with all its requisite mortgage, rent, insurance payments, and other myriad bills — loom over the heads of the federal workers who have been toiling without pay for weeks now, their patience is finally beginning to break with the missing of their second paycheck.

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And so breaks the President.

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Traffic control workers “calling out sick” en masse led to the grounding of planes out of New York’s LaGuardia and delays of hundreds of flights at Philadelphia, and Newark airports. They are joined by 14,000 IRS workers who refused to show up to work today

The angry workers followed up that disobedience with the mobilization of both the air traffic controllers and the flight attendants union, who issued threats of work stoppage. This would obviously paralyze America’s air traffic and leave millions of passengers stranded, causing unprecedented chaos.

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“This is exactly what [the Association of Flight Attendants] and other aviation unions have been warning would happen,” AFA President Sara Nelson said. “Do we have your attention now, Leader McConnell? All lawmakers? Open the government and then get back to the business of democracy to discuss whatever issue you so choose.”

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When asked if they would show up for work, Nelson responded with “Showing up to work for what? If air traffic controllers can’t do their jobs, we can’t do ours.”

The call-outs by angry, unpaid workers have forced those who continue to work to pull double shifts while dealing with the stress of never knowing when their next paycheck is coming in, which is putting everyone at risk — and they’ve decided enough is enough.

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The threats appear to have forced the president’s hand, as the President is set to announce a temporary re-opening of the government in a humiliating defeat.

Trump has wasted untold billions of dollars, damaged the United States’ economy, heaped unnecessary suffering and hardship on the families of millions of people, and done enormous damage to our national parks, all for his personal desert monument to xenophobia — which he’s never going to end up getting.

That alone should be an impeachable offense.

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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