Canadian air traffic controllers keeping U.S. counterparts well fed MAN CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER
AIR traffic controllers in Winnipeg have been slinging pizza pies to their counterparts in Minnesota, a moraleboosting gesture of solidarity in the face of a U.S. federal government shutdown that’s forcing American air traffic controllers to work without pay.
Sixteen extra-large pizzas were delivered to evening shift workers at the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center in Farmington, Minn., Friday night, courtesy of their colleagues in Winnipeg.
“There was plenty of food for everyone, it was really a nice gesture to pick up some spirits,” said Tony Walsh, the facility’s union representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), which represents air traffic controllers in the U.S.
Walsh and his co-workers expect to miss their first paycheque this coming Tuesday, as the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government runs into its fourth week. Since air traffic controllers, who work for the Federal Aviation Administration, are considered essential government employees, they must work even though the government can’t issue their paycheques. (NATCA is suing the U.S. government over the situation.)
Winnipeg flight controllers have also sent pizza to three other air traffic control centres in Minnesota so far, according to Peter Duffy, president and CEO of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association. The union represents 1,950 air traffic controllers across Canada, including 186 in Manitoba.
Winnipeggers aren’t the only Canadian air traffic controllers getting into the pizza delivery game.
The trend started with controllers in Edmonton, who sent pizza to controllers in Anchorage, Alaska, said Duffy. So far, 33 air traffic control units across the U.S. have received pizza from Canadians, he said.
“It’s taken on a life of its own. As a matter of fact, I just heard that one individual person in Vancouver bought lunch for an entire building in the U.S., and that was just one person.”
Even though American and Canadian air traffic controllers work for different employers and belong to different unions, Duffy said, they feel like colleagues “because every single day, we push these little buttons and talk to these people.”
Working so closely together creates “a bit of a fraternity” in the international air traffic control scene, he said.
“And it really is something that we have developed fantastic international relationships with other unions.”
NAV Canada, which operates Canada’s air traffic service, is “very proud of our controllers for their thoughtfulness in helping out their colleagues in the U.S.,” said national manager of media relations Ron Singer.
Down in Minnesota, Tony Walsh said he wanted to thank Winnipeg’s air traffic controllers for their support and solidarity.
“It’s really been great to see the silver lining of the situation that we’re in right now,” he said. A Winnipeg man has been charged with manslaughter following the Jan. 9 death of a Winnipeg woman in what police say was a domestic incident.
Winnipeg police were called to a home in the 500 block of Daer Boulevard at about 2:25 a.m. on Wednesday, police spokesman Const. Rob Carver told media on Saturday.
The officers found Eunjee Kim, a 41-year-old woman, unconscious at the scene. She was taken to hospital and pronounced dead.
Juhyun Park, a 44-year-old man who lived in the same home, was arrested at the scene, then taken to hospital for treatment of an unspecified injury. Park has since been released from hospital and was charged with manslaughter later on Jan. 9.
Neither Park nor Kim were previously known to police, said Const. Carver. He would not elaborate on their relationship beyond saying it was a “domestic relationship.”
Homicide charges related to domestic incidents are “not overly common” in Winnipeg, said Const. Carver.
“That’s not in any way to diminish the nature of domestic violence, which is obviously a huge, serious issue,” he said. pronounced dead. Const. Murray said she was walking on the sidewalk when she was hit. No other injuries were reported, he said.
Const. Murray said there’s currently no indication that alcohol or drugs were involved in the collision. Police have questioned both drivers, he said, but neither have been arrested.
“Investigations of this nature often take a lot of time,” said Const. Murray.
Police are asking any witnesses to the collision to call the Traffic Division at (204) 9867085, or Crime Stoppers at (204) 786-8477.
Controllers at the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center enjoying pizza compliments of their counterparts in Winnipeg.