Local aviation workers affected by government shutdown

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The partial federal government shutdown is taking its toll on Central Texas families.

At the Waco Airport Monday, KWTX spoke with two aviation workers who said they are considered essential personnel and have not been furloughed.

They are working without pay, for now, and they said they are unsure of when they will get their next paycheck with an actual dollar amount.

Tim Lindsey, spokesperson for the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists Union said, "Today would be the day I would normally get paid. I even still woke up this morning and took out my phone and looked at the bank account just to see if by chance something happened, out of habit."

Lindsey saw his pay stub with zeros in the spot that his earned income should have been.

He and his wife are budgeting, relying on her salary, and hoping they can make it a little longer.

Like many, there are bills to pay.

Federal workers in this position he said, can’t apply for unemployment assistance like those who are furloughed.

Something as simple as gassing up the car could soon be even harder for many.

He said, "How am I even going to be able to put gas in my truck so I can drive to work? I mean we have people who live as far away as Dallas that drive down here every day to come to work and so if they're not getting paid, they're not able to get gas to make that drive down here every day Eventually they're not going to be able to afford to come to work."

Some federal employees are even starting to look for a second job to pay the bills, hooking up with flexible companies such as Lyft and Uber.

Federal workers have said they need to come back to work and get the country back on its feet.

Safety for is also a major concern.

Be one of those who maintains the instruments and equipment that air traffic controllers use to guide an aircraft off the runway and back on said this is not an area to cut corners.

Glenn Guilbert is an air traffic controller at the Waco Airport and is a representative in his union said, even though stressors in their personal lives are being compounded by the shutdown, he quote someone saying, "We have to be 100% in the job, 100% of the time,’ and to say OK keep doing that we're (the federal government) not going to pay you though and we're not going to tell you when we're going to pay you, but keep doing a perfect job."

The aviation industry is already dealing with a 30 low in terms of the number of air traffic controllers.

With the furlough, that means fewer eyes on the skies.

Federal workers said they urge Congress and the President to reach a deal to fund the government and end the shutdown, politics aside.

"Regardless of your feelings for or against the wall, it shouldn't affect the aviation safety professionals who keep your flights safe."