Dan McCabe, representative of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants, told CNN Monday they weren’t satisfied with President Donald Trump’s supposed border security compromise and demanded he end his shutdown before people get hurt.
“We know all too well what it means when you have gaps in security,” said Nelson. “The TSA was created after 9/11, when I lost my friends, our country shut down, airplanes stopped flying, and we had a massive economic impact from that.”
“When you’re standing outside and you are suddenly hit with a thunderstorm, you do not wait and negotiate in that thunderstorm and wait for lightning to strike,” she continued. “You get out of the way and then you talk about where you’re going to go next. They need to reopen the government, stop holding all of us hostage and putting our safety and security in jeopardy.”
McCabe added that eventually members of his union would simply walk off the job.
“There’s no gauge as to where someone’s breaking point is at. Is it one paycheck, is it two paychecks, is it four paychecks? My biggest fear is that as people reach their breaking point that they’ll begin to quit,” he said, adding that the industry was already struggling with the worst staffing levels in 30 years.
“The economic impact to the country at that point is terrible,” McCabe continued. “Let alone having controllers that are already in a stressful job come to work, not well rested, not on their “A” game, and it’s introducing unmitigated risk into a system that’s risk-averse.”
“Federal workers cannot cash ‘thank yous,'” chimed in Nelson, slamming Trump’s statement of gratitude for unpaid workers still on the job. “They can’t even put a tank of gas in their car to get to work. As this starts to crumble and unravel, we’re going to see mass flight cancellations, we’re going to see a system that completely unravels and falls apart.”
“We are days away when the planes stop flying,” she added. “Our members’ jobs are hurt but packages don’t get to trucks that get loaded on those trucks and get to our communities, and medicines don’t get to the hospitals to treat people in those hospitals. No one is going to get away from this unscathed.”
Watch the video below.