Local air traffic controllers working without pay

Air traffic controllers at the Des Moines airport are talking as they try to make it without pay during the government shutdown.

Four of the 28 controllers who work in the Des Moines tower are now on furlough, KCCI reports. But all of them missed their first paycheck last week.

The Des Moines Air Traffic Controllers Association President Dan Sherritt says morale is low because they aren't sure how long they can keep this up.

"We will never compromise on safety, but it's hard to keep the morale up and I'm sure the flying public would like to know the people that are working their aircraft are not having to worry about whether their mortgage is being paid," Sherritt said.

He said passenger safety is still the top priority. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is now suing the government to try and collect their backpay.

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