“It’s coming down to the bottom-line dollar, where the FAA wants to staff facilities at midnight with one person,”
– Patrick Forrey
Those comments came from the former president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. The thing about this I’m not getting is this new sense of half ass apathy. You hear people address the fatigue of the person who has worked the job for 20 years then right after that say that’s not an excuse. I heard the new Mayor elect Sly James mention something about a truck driver caught sleeping in the mayoral debate Monday and then address the drivers fatigue due to over stretched schedule and then right after that said but that’s no excuse. I find it funny the people who are saying this have never been in that situation or haven’t been in it to that extreme. Yes there are excuses one being the company you work for is being tight with their money. That air traffic controller was supposed to have someone else there, but there was only that person who fell asleep, so there was no one to take over while that person got some rest… That’s the main excuse, the only excuse.
The problem here the country, especially within these last 3 years since corporations seem to have gotten away with under staffing and overworking and not to mention not even paying those workers more money at all, have become used to it. We heard it during the hire freeze how jobs aren’t looking to hire simply because the workers they have now are doing double to triple the load some are even doing it with their hours being cut. It’s being said as if it’s normal. Will this become a topic the news media will focus on, this overload your worker movement…. No, mainly because those companies that do it pay for ad time and those ads bring in dollars to the network so it’s not news. I have a friend who works for an airport and said her and a handful of people worked forty hours in three days because some people quit and the whole March Madness conference tournaments were happening so imagine whatever her job is and having to do it during that time of the month with six other people that long? I have another friend who says he works three different departments at his job one those departments he was just thrown in on not knowing how to do the job, if he had gotten hurt it would have been his fault for not saying anything not his jobs fault for putting him there cause they want to save money so they used employees from another department.
We’ve become accustomed to hearing these stories, though never in detail, about workers being stretched thin to save money. The problem won’t end and this air traffic control thing will be pushed to the side unless some people speak out that it’s more common than we know and it’s not just with air traffic control. What if a few pilots say something about doing crazy shifts to save the bottom line? Who wants to deal with the airline that is over working their pilots? People are claiming the economies has picked up I’m not sure if that just focuses on spending habit, due to how well the Ipad is selling, or if it means because new workers are being hired for some of those jobs that were content with understaffing and overworking at their facility? If this trend keeps up it will no longer be a trend and air traffic controllers sleep will no longer be news just an incident that happened and was dealt with.