Sea-Tac airport workers hold rally protesting federal shutdown

Sea-Tac airport workers hold rally protesting federal shutdown

SEA-TAC AIRPORT — TSA workers, air traffic controllers, and more held a rally out in front of Sea-Tac airport Tuesday, imploring the powers that be to reopen the government for the sake of employees working without pay or on furlough.

“It’s completely ridiculous — it’s infuriating,” said Eddie DeLisle, an air traffic controller from Portland. “I don’t care about a wall, I don’t care about immigration policy. It’s time to end this government shutdown and get to the table and get a deal.”

“It’s very frustrating — we shouldn’t be held accountable for mistakes the federal government can’t come to an agreement on,” said Jared, another air traffic controller.

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With the shutdown continuing through Tuesday, federal workers have now officially missed two paychecks, and it’s left many in difficult situations.

“It’s just scary to not know when your next paycheck is going to come,” said air traffic controller Sherri O’Neil. “There are people who can’t afford their prescriptions, people can’t afford childcare, they can’t put gas in the tank to get to work anymore — it’s just a stressful situation.”

The shutdown has already affected the region in a number of ways. Alaska Airlines announced Tuesday that commercial flights out of Paine Field in Everett would be delayed until March.

Nationally, TSA agents calling out sick reached 10 percent over the holiday weekend.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued her own statement on the shutdown, after enacting an executive order to allow federal workers to defer payments on public utilities.

Every day that the crisis of the government shutdown continues, public servants in Seattle are forced to live without knowing if they can provide for their families – and Seattle is put at risk by the lack of federal services that we rely on, from earthquake monitoring to the Coast Guard to affordable housing support. We are acting urgently to help support Seattle families being hurt by the Trump shutdown. But to truly help families and help Seattle, we need the White House to re-open the federal government today.

Washington state is home to over 54,000 federal employees, 11,000 of whom work either without pay or on furlough.

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