Air Traffic Controllers Union Becomes Latest Group To Sue Trump Over Shutdown

This is the third union to sue the Trump administration for making federal employees work without pay during the government closure.

Air traffic controllers have become the third federal employees union to sue the Trump administration over the partial government shutdown.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit Friday seeking a temporary restraining order against the federal government for allegedly violating the Fifth Amendment by depriving controllers of “hard-earned compensation without the requisite due process.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the Federal Aviation Administration violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying minimum wage to controllers being required to work during the shutdown, and by not promptly paying overtime to union members.

“The air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators and other excepted aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck,” the union said in a statement sent to HuffPost on Friday. “If not for the shutdown, NATCA members would have begun to receive direct deposit of their pay into their accounts as of this morning.”

On Thursday, air traffic controllers missed their first paycheck since the shutdown began. On Friday, hundreds of thousands of other federal workers missed their first paycheck of the year due to the shutdown, as President Donald Trump continued to demand billions in funding for a border wall.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers, filed its own lawsuit Jan. 8. The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, filed a lawsuit in December, days after the shutdown began. Both of those lawsuits allege that more than 400,000 federal employees are being illegally forced to work without pay.

Members of NATCA and other aviation industry employees gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday to call for ending the partial shutdown, which has gone on for 21 days.

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