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World
14 Jan 2019

Canadians buy US employees hundreds of pizzas as shutdown continues

Canadians buy US employees pizzas as shutdown continues

In a show of industry-wide support, Canadian air traffic controllers, over the past few days, have bought hundreds of pizzas for their cash-strapped American counterparts who are languishing as a result of the ongoing US government shutdown.

For the 10,000 odd US air traffic controllers who have been working without pay since the shutdown began, the Canadian initiative comes as a relief.

Here's more.

In context

Canadians buy US employees pizzas as shutdown continues
What began as a small initiative soon snowballed

Pizza

What began as a small initiative soon snowballed

The initiative to buy pizzas began on Thursday when Canadian air traffic controllers at the Edmonton control center in Alberta, ordered pizzas for American air traffic controllers situated around 2,000 miles away in Anchorage, Alaska.

The idea soon snowballed, and it has been reported that 36 air traffic control centers in the US have received pizzas, courtesy Canadian employees.

As of Sunday, over 300 pizzas had been delivered.

The number of American facilities receiving pizzas is growing hourly

"The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and center for the colleagues in the U.S. As it stands right now, I believe we're up to 36 facilities that have received pizza from Canada, and that number is growing by the," said Peter Duffy, the head of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association.

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Why?

Why the sudden show of solidarity?

But why the sudden show of solidarity?

Canadian air traffic controllers interact daily with their American counterparts as they manage North American air space.

The job itself is a demanding one, and requires controllers to be fully alert and functional to avoid untoward incidences.

Given this common ground, and the stresses of the job, the Canadians decided to show the Americans some hospitality.

American controllers tweet to let their gratitude known

The ongoing US government shutdown is the longest in history

Shutdown

The ongoing US government shutdown is the longest in history

Meanwhile, the partial US government shutdown seems to have no visible solution in sight.

With US President Donald Trump demanding around $5.7bn for the proposed US-Mexico border wall, and with Democrats refusing to budge on the issue, the shutdown is poised to last a while.

Interestingly, the shutdown has now entered day 24, and is the longest US government shutdown in history.

Funding

Around a quarter of the government has no funds

As it stands, around three-quarters of the government, including vital services and government agencies like the military and the Department of Health and Human Services are fully funded till September 2019.

However, the remaining quarter of the government is facing disruption, and hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been affected by the partial shutdown.

Around 800,000 federal employees are not getting paid

Pay

Around 800,000 federal employees are not getting paid

In terms of numbers, over 420,000 federal employees deemed essential for the functioning of the government are working without pay, including 41,000 law enforcement officers and 150,000 Homeland Security employees.

Meanwhile, more than 380,000 federal employees, including NASA, Commerce department, Housing and Urban development, Internal Revenue Service, and National Park Service employees, have been 'furloughed' or barred from doing work. They aren't getting paid either.

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Most asked questions

What are US government shutdowns?

Will federal employees never get paid for the work they do during shutdowns?

Which was the longest shutdown prior to this?

How many shutdowns happened under the Trump administration?

More questions

What are US government shutdowns?

Asked 3 minutes ago by Sanvi Shah

Answered by NewsBytes

US government shutdowns refer to a situation when the Congress fails to pass or the President refuses to sign legislation approving funding for US federal government services and agencies. In this case, the Congress has failed to reach a funding agreement. During shutdowns, many non-essential services are stopped, and federal employees either work without pay, or are barred from working.

Will federal employees never get paid for the work they do during shutdowns?

Asked 3 minutes ago by Hemant Rodrigues

Answered by NewsBytes

That is unlikely to be the case. Federal employees are general paid retroactively when the government shutdown ends. However, till such time the shutdown lasts, they will not get paid.

Which was the longest shutdown prior to this?

Asked 3 minutes ago by Vishal Rathore

Answered by NewsBytes

Prior to the ongoing shutdown, the longest US government shutdown happened during the Clinton era, when the government remained shut for 21 days, from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996.

How many shutdowns happened under the Trump administration?

Asked 3 minutes ago by Trisha Chauhan

Answered by NewsBytes

There have been three government shutdowns under the Trump administration - all three happened in 2018-19. The first shutdown took place in January and lasted three days. The second shutdown happened in February, but was resolved. The third shutdown is still ongoing.

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