Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Canadian Air Traffic Controllers Are Sending Pizza to U.S. Colleagues

Sometimes solidarity comes with a soft crust and a layer of melted cheese Sometimes solidarity comes with a soft crust and a layer of melted cheese
Rhonda Young | 16 January, 2019, 06:32

"They talk to those people daily on the phone... so they consider them co-workers and they said, hey, let's send them some pizza".

Air traffic controllers in Canada have bought air traffic controllers in the US hundreds of pizzas in recent days to show support for their counterparts in what is now the longest government shutdown in USA history.

So, employees of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association wanted to do something to cheer up their US eqivalents.

Members of the ATC staff at Portland International Jetway in ME also posted a message on their shared Facebook page, thanking their neighbors to the north for sending pizza and demonstrating that there are "people out there who actually care and want to help in a time of need!"

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"Part of the centre's airspace lies up against Canadian airspace, so in other words, these controllers "hand off" aircraft to one another, and work together to keep airplanes safe", he told HuffPost Canada.

The government shutdown began on December 22, over a stalemate instigated by President Donald Trump for his proposed border wall between the USA and Mexico, a tent pole of his presidential campaign.

Duffey estimates that as of Sunday afternoon, approximately 300 pies have been received by American controllers in 36 facilities around the United States, many of whom took to social media to express their gratitude.

Duffey said he's never been more proud of his employees, as the Canada initiative was taken on by members and not the union.

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"Two things sort of go hand-in-hand with air traffic control, it's probably pizza and coffee", he says.

"They started to brainstorm a little bit, you know, what could they do that would just, kind of, show them that they were thinking of them. People just don't need to be reporting to work with the added stress of worrying about how to pay their mortgages and grocery bills on top of it". Controllers at Nav Canada centers in Moncton, New Brunswick, and Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, supplied dinner for New York Center, Montreal bought for Boston and La Guardia, Toronto for Cleveland, Winnipeg for Grand Forks and Minneapolis and Vancouver for Seattle.

Air traffic controllers will be asking passengers to contact government leaders in Washington, urging them to end the shutdown.

Canadian air traffic controllers are really leaning in to the stereotypical niceness associated with our neighbors to the north.

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