Flight attendants are just one of the many groups that would be impacted if there’s another government shutdown on Feb. 16. Their safety, as well as lost trips and the stress many other impacted workers faced during the previous record-length shutdown, are too much to tolerate.
That’s according to Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, who on Monday called for possible actions if there’s another shutdown. She did not use the word “strike” but called on the public to join demonstrations that may take place on Saturday, noting, “Congress is creating an extremely chaotic situation. We’re going to create order where Congress is creating chaos,” according to NBC News.
Already, there’s a nascent movement calling for a general strike if the government shuts down again, which Nelson did mention.
The most recent shutdown caused major air travel disruptions, including temporary closures at major airports such as New York’s LaGuardia and significant delays at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, the world’s busiest airport. The shutdown also caused Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners to call in sick. TSA agents were among federal workers that were required to work without pay during the shutdown, a demand that many workers found to be a financial hardship, which caused TSA agent absenteeism to spike and airport security lines to stretch much longer than normal.
Overall, more than a million federal contractors furloughed during the last shutdown did not receive any back pay.