“On my watch, controllers will not be paid to take naps.”
He must think the Japanese and Germans are wussies for letting their controllers do it. I wonder what they think of LaHood allowing only one controller on duty all night at some airports.
Apparently, in LaHoodLand, real men never need to go take a pee.
What I think LaHood’s really steamed about is controllers’ salaries, coupled with faulty notions about what constitutes productivity and a belief that sleep is time wasted.
Here’s the scoop from the Bureau of Labor Statistics…
“Median annual wages of air traffic controllers in May 2008 were $111,870….The lowest 10 percent earned less than $45,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $161,010. The average annual salary, excluding overtime earnings, for air traffic controllers in the Federal Government — which employs 90 percent of all controllers — was $109,218 in March 2009.”
They work 40-hour weeks, but can pull extra shifts for more money or time off. Yet they can be fired if caught napping during their 30-minute breaks, which they should get every few hours.
LaHood is ignoring scientific evidence that rotating shifts can cause a host of problems, from memory and cognitive impairment to heart disease and cancer. Instead, he insists it’s all a matter of taking more “personal responsibility.”
“Just say ‘No’ to sleep.”
Another Republican playing another tired old abstinence card.
While he’s been hitting the air waves venting his outrage at those lay-abouts, LaHood could have been at his desk spending 5 minutes to implement the obvious solution, which would be free and immediate.
Taxpayers aren’t getting any more bang for their buck if controllers are reading magazines, drinking coffee, or loading up on junk food, trying to stay awake during breaks. The downtime is already there, so just LET CONTROLLERS USE THEIR BREAKS TO SLEEP.
It always works for cats.