Airport Starts Donation Drive To Help Employees During Shutdown
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is collecting donated goods to help the approximately 100 federal employees who work at the airport and aren’t being paid because of the government shut down.
Among the goods being collected are non perishable foods, beverages, paper products, toiletries, diapers and other baby products. No cash, gift cards or clothing will be accepted.
The items will be distributed to members of the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and Customs and Border Protection.
“Every federal employee has made sacrifices for the job,” said Dan Campanella, 31, of Taylor, who has worked as an air traffic controller at the Avoca airport for 10 years. “When your pay is suspended indefinitely that adds a huge amount of stress to the job.”
Campanella said workers haven’t been paid in nearly a month, including for the holidays of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
He noted his wife’s earnings as a dietician is the only family income right now.
“She’s paying the mortgage this month,” he said.
Carl Beardsley, executive director of the airport, announced the donation drive on Thursday morning flanked by Luzerne County Councilman Tim McGinley, Lackawanna County Commission Patrick O’Malley and other airport officials.
“I’m outraged,” O’Malley said about the payless paydays due to the shutdown. “Get our people back to work. Get their checks to them.”
McGinley said he was “really disappointed.”
“Some how, some way, they should get these people back to work,” McGinley said. “They deserve it.”
Donated items could be dropped off at the airport in specially marked bins labeled “Team
AVP Helping Team AVP.”::