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Thunder Bay air traffic controllers send pizza as 'symbol of solidarity' to Duluth counterparts

Jan 20, 2019 08:07AM ● By Editor
The Thunder Bay air traffic controllers sent pizza to their counterparts in Duluth to show solidarity and support during the partial U.S. government shutdown. Photo: Jason Leach 

From CBC News - Thunder Bay - January 20, 2019

A few boxes of freshly delivered pizza was all it took for the Thunder Bay Air Traffic Controllers to show their solidarity and support for their American counterparts in Duluth, Minnesota earlier this week.

"It's been a grassroots controller based initiative," Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA) director of communication, Tania Calverley told CBC News. "The money has come from their own purses and wallets and right now, we've had 99 NATCA (National Air Traffic Control Association) facilities covered from CATCA branches."

She said the idea to show support for the federal government employees in the U.S. who have been without pay since the partial government shutdown on Dec. 22, started about a week ago when controllers in Edmonton decided to send pizza to their American counterparts.

"CATCA controllers wanted to let their NATCA counterparts know that they are thinking of them, that they stand beside them during the shutdown," Calverley explained.

Since the deliveries started, she said she's received several messages expressing gratitude.

"It's just been received with such warm hearts and smiles," Calverley said. "It's more than just a slice of pizza, it really is a symbol of solidarity."

"Every bit helps"

For the air traffic controllers in Duluth, this past weekend's lunch delivery was "a reminder that there's other people" who support them during this difficult time.

"Every bit helps in this time ... of the government shut down and wondering when we're going to get our next paycheque," union representative for Duluth's NATCA, Jason Leach said. "We are greatly appreciative of it. It's nice to know there's a big community out there to help us out and even from other countries. It's awesome."

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